France:-  Statistics and related

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.
1

1.    REGISTERS AND INVENTORIES

Although France was probably one of the first European countries to inventory contaminated sites in the 1970s, little attention was paid to the problems caused by contaminated land until the beginning of the 1990s. In addition to the early national surveys of contaminated sites, the initiatives taken more recently include the creation of a National Register, an Inventory of Derelict Industrial sites (Brownfields), and an Inventory of Active Industrial Sites.

National register

Since 1993, the Ministry in charge of the environment has kept a National Register of sites that have been reported by the local authorities as being actually or potentially contaminated and needing specific government action. These sites are entered into a database (BASOL) and the Ministry periodically issues public reports on the current situation. In December 1994, there were 669 sites in the register. In December 1997, there were 896 sites in the register, 125 sites had been restored, with or without land-use restrictions.

This database is available on the web at http://basol.ecologie.gouv.fr/ and is periodically updated by the DREAL (see France Overview). In January 2009, the French government was undertaking actions for either risk prevention or remediation on around 4,127 sites (Fig. 1).

Inventory of derelict industrial sites

In addition to investigating operating sites, the Ministry conducts a systematic national survey of former industrial sites. These inventories are managed on a regional scale. Since 1994, regional historical inventories have been carried out in many regions (e.g. Auvergne, Bourgogne, Lorraine, and Rhône-Alpes). As an indication, in the Lorraine region, some 20,000 former sites have been identified by studying public and private archives.

Based on these first results, and taking into account the extent of past industrial activity, it is estimated that 300,000 to 400,000 former industrial sites will have been identified when the inventories are completed. This register is available on the web at http://basias.brgm.fr. The BASIAS database is updated each time the regional steering committee decides that a departmental inventory has been completed.

An up-to-date map of available inventories can be downloaded from the Basias web site.

Inventory of active industrial sites

In April 1996, the Ministry ordered the Prefects to draw up a list of priority sites for further investigations. Initial audits and simplified risk assessments, including, if necessary, appropriate remediation measures, were to have been completed on some 1,300 top-priority sites by 2001. This list is for DREAL use only.

Registration of incidents

Contaminated sites discovered by chance or caused by accidents are also registered and treated under the provisions of the Classified Installations for the Protection of the Environment (ICPE) law or the Water law. The ARIA (Accident Analysis, Research and Information) database is managed by the Ministry (Bureau d’Analyse des Risques et des Pollutions Industrielles – BARPI).

2.    AVAILABLE STATISTICS

 

Name of the region

Number of sites

% of sites

Alsace

251

6.22 %

Aquitaine

191

4,74 %

Auvergne

79

1.96 %

Bourgogne

77

1,91 %

Basse Normandie

64

1.59 %

Bretagne

62

1.54 %

Centre

169

4,19 %

Champagne Ardenne

154

3,82 %

Corse

7

0.17 %

Franche Comte

87

2.16 %

Guadeloupe Guyane Martinique

21

0.52 %

Haute Normandie

209

5.18 %

Ile de France

398

9,87 %

Limousin

49

1.21 %

Lorraine

300

7.44 %

Languedoc Roussillon

83

2,06 %

Midi Pyrénées

176

4.36 %

Nord-Pas de Calais

550

13.64 %

Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur

159

3,94 %

Pays de la Loire

94

2.33 %

Picardie

198

4.91 %

Poitou Charentes

62

1.54 %

La Réunion

13

0.32 %

Rhône Alpes

579

14.36 %

TOM

1

0.02 %

Total

4,033

100.00

Figure 1 - BASOL Inventory of contaminated sites under investigation in France in December 2007 (current figures are available on the BASOL Web site).

 

Preliminary survey

Estimated total

Identified

BASIAS

ICPE

BASIAS

ICPE

350,000

600,000

98,000

600,000

950,000

698,000

Figure 2 - Sites for preliminary survey in France (data from BASIAS derelict industrial sites and ICPE active installations inventories in June 2002)

Note: ICPE data are estimated from the DRIRE list of investigated sites (see 1.3.)

3.    Key Documents

The 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

4.    Useful Web Links

French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea
www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr

Other web dedicated sites:

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

BASOL web site for inventory of contaminated web site
http://basol.ecologie.gouv.fr

BARPI - Risk and Industrial pollution analysis office
http://www.aria.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/

Sites-Pollués - French portal for contaminated land
http://www.sites-pollues.developpement-durbale.gouv.fr

Regional Direction for Industry, Research and Environment
www.drire.gouv.fr

French Agency for Environment and Energy Management
www.ademe.fr

BASIAS: Inventory of derelict industrial sites
http://basias.brgm.fr

5.    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

BARPI

Bureau Analyses des risques et des pollutions industrielles

DRIRE

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

DREAL

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

ICPE

Installation Classée pour la Protection de l‘Environnement

6.     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 (ADEME)

French Agency for Environment and Energy Management

Bureau Analyses des risques et des pollutions industrielles (BARPI)

Risk and Industrial Pollution Analysis Bureau

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 (DRIRE)

Regional Directorate for Industry, Research and Environment

Direction Régionale de l‘Environnement

Regional Directorate for the Environment

Inspection des installations classées

Classified Installation Inspection Service

Installation Classée pour la Protection de l’Environnement (ICPE)

Classified Installation for the Protection of the Environment

7.    Acknowledgement

The 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

BASOL database of the French Ministry in charge of the environment
http://basol.ecologie.gouv.fr

 

Authors
Jean François Brunet
BRGM, France

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