Finnish strategy advancing the use of more environmentally sound and resource efficient soil remediation methods.
This practice is a national strategy setting an example of state support tool for introduction and diffusion of novel in-situ remediation methods and getting soils into better condition.
The National Risk Management Strategy for Contaminated Land was published by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment in 2015. It was created to response to changes in the operating environment of remediation sector. The strategy aims at managing the environmental and health risks of contaminated soils in a sustainable manner by year 2040. The strategy sets various objectives, and several actions and tasks are named to reach the objectives.
Especially two funding programmes presented in the strategy are relevant for diffusion of new in-situ remediation technologies. The first, the National investigation and remediation programme 2017 - 2040, allocates funding for investigating and cleaning risky, often orphan sites. Another programme is the Government's experimental programme for remediating contaminated soils 2016 - 2018, which aims to speed up development and introduction of sustainable risk management methods and increasing competitiveness of Finnish remediation business.
The Ministry of the Environment coordinates the implementation of the strategy. The majority of the strategy’s tasks are targeted to public authorities. Actors like consultants, contractors, engineers and research organisations can get direct economical benefits from the strategy’s two funding programmes.
The national investigation and remediation programme delivers 12 M € funding yearly and managing it costs 18 man-years. The experimental programme for remediating contaminated soils delivers 5 M € during three years.
Evidence of success
Success of this solution cannot be comprehensively estimated yet. So far, the National investigation and remediation programme has funded investigations of 95 contaminated sites and remediation of 11 sites. The Experimental programme for remediating contaminated soils has granted funding for over 20 projects, involving more than 50 companies and research organisations. These funding programmes foster the testing and diffusion of novel in-situ remediation methods.
The most remarkable barrier to implementation of this practice is the limitation of resources. So far it has not been possible to advance all the objectives of the ambitious strategy. Prioritizing only some of the objectives has been required.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice is a national strategy that pursues the use of more environmentally sound and resource efficient soil remediation practices in Finland. It allocates funding for research, development, demonstration and advancing of novel remediation techniques and sustainable risk management procedures. So the solution promotes transition of remediation processes to a more sustainable direction and sets an example of a national funding instrument.
When implementing this kind of solution, it is crucial to involve all different actors that work in remediation sector for example by letting them participate in strategy planning. In order to achieve the objectives, it is essential that different actors co-operate effectively during implementation phase. In Finland the number of actors working in the remediation sector is relatively low, and many actors know each other personally. This, for its part, facilitates achieving the strategy objectives.
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