Denmark:-  Statistics and related

Glossary Entry
The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy consisting of 
14 counties and the self-governing overseas administrative divisions Faroe Islands and Greenland
(see separate entries) Denmark covers an area of 43,094 square kilometres and has a population of
5.4 million. The capital is Copenhagen. In 1973, Denmark joined the European Economic Community
(now the European Union).
Further description author's instructions

Denmark overview: Statistics


Contaminated Sites Council to the Minister for the Environment, annual report 2002:


This investigation is the annual report from the Contaminated Sites Council to the Minister for the Environment presenting efforts and activities in the field of soil contamination.


On 1 January 2003, a total of 14.000 sites had been listed/ registered by the regional authorities. 7.213 sites were listed at knowledge level 2 (established soil contamination, referred to as V2 in the following), and 5.810 sites were listed at knowledge level 1 (knowledge of activities that may have caused soil contamination, referred to as V1 in the following). In addition, the local authorities have reported a total of 1,433 sites to the counties, but the counties have not yet decided on relevant listing for these sites.


In 2002 the number of sites listed at V2 increased by 864, and the number of V1 sites increased by 1.488. A total of 463 sites were removed from listing in 2002. The average area of new listed sites is only ¼ of the area of previously listed sites.


A range of different sources has contributed to contamination of the sites. Petrol and service stations and other activities involving oil/petrol, together with dry-cleaning establishments, make up the largest groups of causes for listing at V2 in 2002.


Listing is still based primarily on point sources. Areas contaminated by diffuse sources are listed only to a limited extent, and only at V2. Investigations indicate that many old urban areas have been contaminated by diffuse sources. The Soil Contamination Council agrees with the decision of the counties to accord a lower priority to listing these areas until listing of the more severely contaminated point sources has been completed.


The counties give highest priority to listing, supplementary investigations and clean-up/remediation measures in the 11special target areas designated under the Contaminated Soil Act, i.e. areas with special drinking water interests, abstraction areas for public water supply plants, and areas with housing, children’s institutions or public playgrounds. This means that the intentions of the legislation are being complied with.


The distribution between listing of areas with housing etc. on the one hand, and areas listed because of the risk of contamination of drinking water interests on the other, is almost equal. 41% of the areas listed in 2002 were used for housing, children’s institutions or public playgrounds, while 23.8% were located in areas with special drinking water interests, and 26.1% were located in areas with drinking water interests.


The number of remediations financed by the counties was slightly higher compared with 2001. According to information from the counties, a total of 116 remediations were initiated in 2002. In prioritisation of remediations, there is an imbalance in favour of housing and children’s institutions etc. (68%), primarily because the City of Copenhagen has taken remedial measures at a great number of children’s institutions.


Assessments made by the counties show that for 5,236 of the 7,213 V2 sites, 63% are covered by the target areas under the Contaminated Soil Act.


Overall, in 2002 the counties have afforded special priority to investigations, while activities relating to preventive measures have decreased. On the basis of county budgets for 2003, the Contaminated Sites Council expects that activity related to supplementary investigations will slow down, while preventive measures will intensify in 2003.


In 2002 an amount of DKK 44 million (Euro 5.9 million) were committed under the Land Depreciation Programme. Interest in the Programme was strong in 2002, and this means that at 1 January 2003, 205 applications were pending, corresponding to an amount of DKK 171.4 million (Euro 22.9 million). 12 Adoption of the Soil Contamination Act extended the responsibilities of the local authorities. One of their new tasks relates to notification of soil transport and supervision of the duty to take action. In addition to this, the tasks relating to improvement notices, consultancy services and assistance to listing work carried out by the counties have increased.


The total amount of soil cleaned up and deposited in connection with remediation of listed properties or in order to avoid listing, was estimated at 631,000 tonnes, and this is less than the amounts reported in 2001. Because of the great uncertainty associated with determining the amount, type, and final deposit location of soil, the Danish EPA has initiated a project under the Technology Programme for Soil and Groundwater Contamination, in order to clarify these parameters. The project is expected to be completed in 2003.


In 2002 the local authorities continued their theme reports on causes for closure of water abstraction wells. Of the 104 wells closed in 2002, xenobiotic substances accounted for 1%, pesticides for 45%, and nitrate for 7% of cases. The total number of remediations in 2002 is estimated at a minimum of 1,069. Of these, 116 were financed by the public sector, 268 were completed under special programmes, primarily the Danish Oil Industry’s Association for Remediation of Retail Sites, 180 fell under the insurance scheme for oil tanks at houses, while the rest were voluntary remediations or remediations following improvement notices served on private individuals. Total expenditure on soil contamination is estimated at almost DKK 800 million (Euro 106 million).


Expenditure by the counties was at the same level as in 2001, but it increased in the period 1995-2001. Funding by the counties themselves has been increasing throughout the period.



Key Documents


Contaminated Sites Council to the Minister for the Environment. Annual report 2002.


Redegørelse om jordforurening 2002.




Useful Web Links


DEPA. Publication Database

Miljøstyrelsen. Publikationsdatabase






Lars Kaalund
Information Centre on Contaminated Sites, Denmark

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