October 9, 2012
Costs Of Investigating Polluted Sites Could Reduce With New Methods
New methods might allow polluted sites to be investigated and monitored long term at significantly reduced costs. Authorities and those who have to remediate polluted sites in Europe might therefore be able to save costs and use these to treat other areas. This is the conclusion of the EU research project ModelPROBE, which was coordinated by the UFZ and the results of which were presented to the public on Friday 21, September 2012 at the international REMTECH Expo exhibition in Ferrara, North Italy. The results, with which the scientists aimed to lower the workload of authorities and consultants, include a handbook detailing the methods for characterizing contaminated sites and a freely-accessible e-learning course.
In Europe there are over 20,000 complex and large contaminated areas. These so-called megasites threaten scarce land and water resources, create environmental and health risks and result in economic and social costs. Their efficient and sustainable revitalization requires innovative site assessment and decontamination technologies and integrated evaluation approaches in order to optimise the options for their re-use. A total of 15 partners from eight countries have therefore developed within the scope of the EU ModelPROBE (Model driven Soil Probing, Site Assessment and Evaluation) project new methods for the assessment of polluted sites and the associated monitoring of rehabilitation measures. These methods, which are non- to low-invasive in terms of sampling and treatment of the subsoil at all, were tested, reviewed and compared with traditional methods at UFZ reference sites such as in Zeitz. The EU has funded this inter-disciplinary monitoring to the tune of EUR 3 million.
These methods were tested not only in Zeitz, but also by project partners in Italy, Norway and the Czech Republic. The aim was to gain a fresh insight into soil and subsoil contamination at different levels including integrated statistical analysis and modelling and to provide a solid foundation for future risk assessments and sustainable rehabilitation concepts.
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