A review of regulatory decisions for environmental protection: Part I - Challenges in the implementation of national soil policies

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since many soil studies have already revealed the possible risks to human health and the environment arising from contaminated soils it is therefore crucial to preserve soil quality under current and future conditions. In the last three decades a number of countries already introduced national policies and practices for the management of contaminated sites, and in 2002, an EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection was proposed by the European Commission.

In this paper we review and analyse several national contaminated land policy regimes already in place in order to assess common elements and to identify specific needs in the development of national soil policies. We propose a framework that combines the D-P-S-I-R structure of policy evaluation with the Source-Pathway-Receptor approach to health risk assessment to support the development of effective country specific regulatory decisions for managing contaminated land in countries where these are yet to be implemented. The framework proposed allows decision makers to effectively use available information and to identify existing data gaps. As a result it is apparent that while there are technical aspects of site characterisation, risk assessment and remediation processes that could be commonly implemented at an EU level there are certain trans-scientific aspects that require political choices and need to be customized by EU Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-213
JournalEnvironment International
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Contaminated land management
  • EU environmental policies for soil protection
  • Risk assessment
  • D-P-S-I-R approach

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