France:-  Funding

Glossary Entry
France is a Republic divided into 26 regions and 101 departments (in 2011), 4 of which are overseas. 
Located in Western Europe, France has 3,427 km of coastline and is bordered, clockwise from the north,
by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain and Andorra. France covers
544,435 km² and has a population of 60,185,831. Paris is the capital of France.
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1.    CHAIN OF LIABILITY

Wherever the polluter is at hand or known, the "polluter-pays" principle is strictly applied. The current chain of liability is:

  • the last industry that is responsible under the law on Environmental Permits for industrial sites
  • by default, the last owner

This chain of liability covers studies, surveys, remediation work, and even costs associated with land-use restrictions (as a result of plant monitoring or residual contamination).

2.    VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS BETWEEN INDUSTRY AND THE gOVERNMENT

In 1992, French industries founded the “French Organization of Enterprises for the Environment”, EPE. This organization signed a 5-year agreement with the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME) for the remediation of contaminated sites, and created a fund for this purpose with an annual budget of about € 2.3 M. Remediation projects for which the liable parties either could not be found or were insolvent were funded under the auspices of the ADEME. The system worked rather efficiently until the end of 1994, when it became obvious that the budget was insufficient to cover the actual needs. As a result, the Industrial Waste Tax was created in February 1995.

3.    INDUSTRIAL WASTE TAX

The remediation of orphan sites is funded by a tax created in February 1995 on hazardous industrial waste. The moneys collected are allocated to investigations and clean-up work. Initially set at € 3.8 per ton of industrial waste, the tax was increased to € 6.1 per ton in 1998. Revenues from this new tax amounted to about € 10.5 M the first year and had increased to € 15.3 M by 1998. A national committee manages this Industrial Waste Tax and has funded 37 projects at orphan sites, for a total cost of approximately € 30.5 M.

In 1999, this tax was included in the TGAP (General Tax on Polluting Activities). Remediation is limited to mitigating actual or potential risks to the environment and human safety.

4.    GRANT AND LOAN SYSTEM

France's six Water Authorities (Agences de l’Eau), provide grants and/or low-interest loans for site investigations and clean-up work. The Water Authorities intervene in cases of contaminated industrial sites that have an impact on the aquatic environment. The loans are supposed to cover about 50 percent of the total cost of studies and remediation work. The actual amount of the grants or loans is determined by the Water Authority and ranges from 30 to 70 %, depending on the water-resource area.

Water Authorities also grant subsidies for investing in and operating equipment contributing to the reduction of water pollution. These funds come from taxes on water consumption and pollution.

5.    PRIVATE–PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP MODELS

On 25 April, 1996, the French Ministry in charge of the environment signed a protocol with Gaz de France (GdF) for rationalizing the management of the 467 former gas works that GdF manages. Today, this is currently the only concrete French example of such a partnership. The protocol calls for:

  • an inventory of former gas works
  • ranking of the sites according to their potential effects on human health and the environment

in order to:

  • immediately launch initial environmental assessments and, if necessary, remediation operations, on highly sensitive sites or sites liable to be sold soon
  • schedule environmental assessments on less sensitive sites

In the absence of any nationally validated tools at the time the protocol was signed, the ranking method used was developed in-house by GdF and involved identifying five classes of sites depending on the measures needed:

Class 1 – Prompt preliminary environmental assessment; remediation operations as identified by the assessment and adapted to the local context. Operating conditions subject to agreement by the Inspectorate of Classified Installations

Class 2 – Preliminary environmental assessment within three years and, depending on the results, suitable measures taken in agreement with the Inspectorate of Classified Installations

Class 3 – Historical study of the site within the next eight years, with identification of the location of any storage tanks or vessels, which will be systematically emptied and filled with an inert material

Classes 4 and 5 – Same studies as for Class 3, but within ten years

For Classes 3, 4 and 5, if tank-drainage operations reveal residual pollution, Gaz de France agrees to conduct further studies in agreement with the Inspectorate of Classified Installations. Similarly, any sale, transfer, or redevelopment of sites must be preceded by a preliminary environmental assessment and the remediation conditions, defined in agreement with the authorities, must be adapted to the sensitivity (class) of the site and its future use.

The implementation of this protocol is tracked by means of a national annual report, with specific details for sites requiring the confinement of contaminated soil. At this time, the operations on Class 1 and 2 sites have been completed on schedule, and operations have started on sites in Classes 3 to 5.

A generic study aimed at setting the remediation goals in predefined site-use scenarios was prepared by GdF and validated by the Ministry in charge of the environment in May 2001. The only real problems encountered concern the type of operations to be executed by GdF when selling land and in cases of land-use changes. However, such cases are governed by civil law, according to the agreements between GdF and the buyer (often a local municipal government). Regulatory site-by-site supervision will undoubtedly be necessary.

6.    Key Documents

French approach to contaminated-land management - Revision 1 BRGM/RP-52276-FR
http://www.brgm.fr/result/telechargement/telechargement.jsp?id=RSP-BRGM/RP-52276-FR.

Useful Web Links

French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea
http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr

Other dedicated web sites:

Regional Directorate for the Environment
http://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=1294

French Ministry of Economy, Finances and Industry
http://ww.minefi.gouv.fr

French Deputy Ministry of Industry
http://ww.industrie.gouv.fr

French Deputy Ministry of Research
http://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/

 

Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Regional Development and Competitiveness
http://www.diact.gouv.fr/

Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and Environment
http://www.drire.gouv.fr

French Agency for Environment and Energy Management
http://www.ademe.fr

Water Basin Authorities
http://www.eaufrance.com

7.    Abbreviations

 

Abbreviation

Description

MEEDDM

Ministère de l’Ecologie, de l’Energie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer

ADEME

Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie

DREAL

Direction Régionale de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagment et du Logment

DRIRE

Direction Régionale de l’Industrie, de la Recherche et de l‘Environnement

DIREN

Direction Régionale de l‘Environnement

TGAP

Taxe Générale sur les Activités Polluantes

8.    Key Technical Terms

 

Term

Description

Ministère de l’Ecologie, de l’Energie, du Développement Durable et de la Mer

French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea

Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie

French Agency for Environment and Energy Management

Direction Régionale de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement

Regional Directorate for Environment, Land-Use Planning and Housing

Direction Régionale de l’Industrie, de la Recherche et de l‘Environnement

Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and Environment

Direction Régionale de l‘Environnement

Regional Directorate for Environment

Taxe générale sur les Activités Polluantes

General Tax on Polluting Activities

 

9.    Acknowledgement

Extracted from French approach to contaminated-land management - Revision 1 BRGM/RP-52276-FR)
http://www.brgm.fr/result/telechargement/telechargement.jsp?id=RSP-BRGM/RP-52276-FR


 

 

Authors
Jean François Brunet
BRGM, France

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