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  • The management of contaminated sites and the soil remediation industry in Denmark

    Michel Schilling

  • The beginning

  • 1983 estimate

    500 deposits in Denmark

    Clean up costs: 50 million euro

    Duration: 10 years

  • Early rise of soil pollution issue in Denmark

  • Advantages of an early focus on soil pollution

    Preservation of groundwater as drinking water source

    Value of areas being put to use

    Unhindered urban development

    Lower transaction costs for land trading

    Prevention of pollution

    Reducing adverse health effects

    Business advantage for soil remediation industry

  • 1987 estimate

    6,000 polluted sites

    Clean up costs: 1 billion euro

    Duration: 30 years

  • 1993 estimate

    10,000 polluted sites

    Clean up costs: 3 billion euro

    Duration: 50 years

  • 1999 - Danish Act on Soil Pollution

    New pollution

    Contaminated site

    Voluntary remediation

    Old pollution

    Strict liability

    Polluter carry out investigation and


    Public financed investigation

    and remediation

    Private fuel storage tank

    Investigation and

    remediation covered by insurance

  • V1 and V2 mapping of sites

    Site with possible pollution sources

    V1 identify underground storage tanks etc. from historical archives

    V2 soil and groundwater samples to decide if the site is polluted or not

    If polluted further investigations, risk evaluation, and clean up

  • Risk assessment human health

    Very sensitive use: Kindergardens, private houses

    Sensitive use: Schools

    Non sensitive use: Parking lots

    Pollution content below treshold criteria: soil can be freely used

    Pollution content above treshold criteria and below cut-off criteria: soil can be used with precautions (non-mobile pollutants)

    Pollution content above cut-off criteria: soil should be removed or sealed

  • Voluntarily based remediation


  • Act on Soil Pollution - summarised

    New Pollutions:

    Polluter pays principle

    Strict liability

    Old Pollutions:

    Voluntary remediation

    Private fuel storage tanks mandatory insurance

    Public financed remediation mapping and prioritation

  • 2003 estimate

    55,000 possibly polluted sites

    31,000 actually polluted sites

    14,000 sites in areas of priority

    4,000 groundwater

    10,000 human health

    Total costs: 1.8 billion euro

  • 2012 preliminary status

    28,000 sites mapped (V1 or V2)

    14,000 actually polluted sites (V2)

    7,000 sites in areas of priority

    2,000 sites need to be remediated

  • Public access to data on contaminated sites

  • Administrative set-up

    Ministry of the Environment

    5 regionsPublicly financed investigation and remediation

    98 municipalitiesSupervision of industriesSupervision of privately financed investigation and remediationSupervision of soil transports

    Decentral unitsSupervision of heavy industriesPlanning of use of groundwater resources


  • Investigation and remediation - public prioritation of ressources

    Houses, kindergardens,

    playgrounds etc.37%

    Drinking water supply26%

    Combined risks31%


  • The Danish industry of soil remediation


    Privately financed



    Oil industry10%

    Municipalities, Value Loss and


    Total estimated budget: 130 million euro

  • Consultants and contractors within soil remdiation

    SMEs specialised within this and related fields

    Projects requiring know-how and with repeating pattern:

    Soil handling


    Oil storage tank pollutions

    Projects requiring expert knowledge:

    Remediation of pollutions with chlorinated compounds

  • Research and innovation

  • Export opportunities

  • Conclusion


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