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Contaminated Sediments

Review of Solutions for Protecting Aquatic Environments

image of Contaminated Sediments

The Nordic Council of Ministers have recognized the need to compile the knowledge of sediment remediation strategies and to evaluate different remediation approaches. The objective of this report is to give a status of regulatory framework and sediment management within selected Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark). In addition, the report gives a short overview of international knowledge on remediation approaches, techniques, and materials. Governance and regulatory instruments in dealing with contaminated sediments vary between countries. Of the countries presented, only Norwegian environmental authorities have implemented a national strategy for remediation of marine contaminated sediments. A Nordic database of clean-up projects and long-term monitoring would improve the exchange of knowledge between the Nordic countries.

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Classification of contaminated sediments and quality standards

Classification of sediment based on concentrations of defined contaminants or groups of contaminants is commonly used as a tool to identify sites of concern. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is implemented with the aim to achieve “good status” for all ground and surface waters in the EU, based on Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) developed and implemented under the WFD. In Norway, chemical status is primarily based on the national set EQS for sediment (set for 28 EU priority substances) and biota (set for 23 EU priority substances), whereas in Finland the chemical status of water bodies is based on the EQS set for surface water and biota. Finland is not applying any sediment EQS values. In Denmark and Sweden, the definition of good chemical status is based on EQS for water, sediment and biota, though in Sweden EQS has been defined only for a few substances in biota and sediment.

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