A review of regulatory decisions for environmental protection: Part II-The case-study of contaminated land management in Portugal

S. M. Rodrigues, M. E. Pereira, E. Ferreira da Silva, A. S. Hursthouse, A. C. Duarte

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24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper provides a case-study analysis of the challenges in the implementation of national soil policies, which was developed by the authors in Part I of the review of regulatory decisions for environmental protection [Rodrigues SM, Pereira ME, Ferreira da Silva E, Hursthouse A, Duarte AC. A review of regulatory decisions for environmental management: Part I-challenges in the implementation of national soil policies. Environ Int 2009. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2008.08.007]. The Portuguese case was selected as a case-study since Specific regulatory decisions for contaminated land management are still in the early stages of development. Given the gap between the situation at the EU level and the state of Portuguese soil policy development, it is of merit to consider national contaminated land policy regimes already in place within the EU and to see if these provide a suitable basis to define the main challenges and research needs for the implementation of a Portuguese contaminated land management strategy. A framework combining the D-P-S-I-R (drivers-pressures-sources-impacts-responses) structure of policy evaluation with the Source-Pathway-Receptor approach to health risk assessment is proposed to derive an effective regulatory framework for managing contaminated land in Portugal, using available information and only to develop new data and research where knowledge gaps exist. Funding site clean-up and assigning liability were identified as relevant factors currently hampering site remediation, Most relevant research needs for the development of contaminated land management practices in Portugal are those associated to the definition of a risk assessment framework and setting guidelines for the evaluation of risks posed to both humans and ecosystems. Other relevant and innovative features are the integration of soil function analysis into site investigations and the definition of a framework that combines risk assessment with soil function analysis. The analysis of the Portuguese case also provides insight into the discussions needed for the effective development of regulatory decisions for contaminated land management in countries with no history of implementing specific soil policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-225
JournalEnvironment International
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Soil protection
  • Regulatory decisions
  • Contaminated land
  • Risk management
  • Portugal

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