Once the decision to remediate has been taken, the French policy on contaminated land management does not impose means on the owner – only results. The remediation
techniques to be used are not prescribed. The best available techniques at the best economically acceptable cost should be chosen. Once a remediation scenario
has been decided upon by the government, land owners and consultants, the legal prescriptions must be followed.
Experience feedback from remediation sites sometimes shows dysfunctions in the actual execution of remediation work, which can, in the end, turn out to
be in nonconformity with the initially defined objectives.
Worksite supervision is, therefore, necessary in order to verify, as the work progresses, that management measures are executed as planned. This must be
done by a third party, independent of the people in charge of the remediation.
In a given situation, various remediation techniques can make it possible to reduce the levels of pollution and thereby reduce the risk compared to the intrinsic
performance of each process. However, within a context of sustainable development and global environmental assessment, any possible secondary impacts
should also be taken into account.
Indeed, a solution that is suitable in term of effective reduction of pollution levels can, for example, have impacts:
•as concerns the consumption of resources, emissions of the treatment process itself (e.g. gaseous or aqueous effluents, greenhouse gases), the production
of waste, etc.
•by its contribution to the filling up of landfill sites when soil is excavated and disposed of in a waste storage site
Note that the consideration of secondary impacts must be included in the cost-benefit analysis for the development of the Management Plan (the Management
Plan is a new tool described in the Ministerial Note of February 8, 2007 concerning Contaminated sites and soils - Contaminated site management and remediation
procedures, and in the Ministerial Circular of February 8, 2007 concerning Classified Industrial sites - Prevention of soil contamination - Contaminated
Management options involving regeneration or natural attenuation are possible, in some cases, particularly when pollution is diffuse and when the pollutant
concentration levels, generally low, are stable or decreasing.
This option is chosen:
•when the elimination of the pollution has been shown to be impossible or when it does not appear to be desirable to continue the remediation work, in light
of sustainable development and global environmental assessment
•when it is shown that the residual levels of pollution are compatible with the proposed uses or with the media concerned
•if it is accompanied by suitable monitoring of the media
Depending on the case, unending vigilance must be maintained to identify any changes of use and future owners must be systematically informed by means of
urban planning or Land Registry documents.
Law no. 95-101 of February 2, 1995 concerning the Strengthening of environmental protection states:
'The principle of active prevention and mitigation of environmental damage, if possible at the source, using the best available techniques at an economically
New regulations came into effect on February 8, 2007:
•Ministerial Note of February 8, 2007 concerning Contaminated sites and soil - Contaminated site management and remediation procedures
•Ministerial Circular of February 8, 2007 concerning Classified Installations - Prevention of soil contamination - Contaminated site management
•Circular BPSPR/2005-371/LO of the Ministry of Ecology of February 8, 2007 concerning the Closure of Classified installations - Chain of liability - Defaulting
of responsible parties
•Circular BPSPR/2006-77/LO of the Ministry of Ecology of February 8, 2007 concerning Classified Installations - Application procedure for the detention
of funds as mentioned in Environmental Code no. 514-1