ERMITE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION OF MINE WATERS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   31/1/2001         Duration: 36 months         Project Type: RTD
Contract Number: EVK1-CT-2000-00078
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Topics: 
Brownfields
Contaminated land-->Contaminated land overview
Contaminated land-->Risk assessment-->Receptor: Water
Diffuse pollution-->Sources
Groundwater protection-->Groundwater protection overview
Soil-->Soil Overview
Water and sanitation-->Water and sanitation Overview
Water resources and their management -->Water resources and their management Overview
Project objectives:
The goal of ERMITE was to provide integrated policy guidelines for developing European legislation and practice in relation to water management in the mining 
sector. These guidelines had to be coherent with the catchment management approach defined by the Water Framework Directive and the sustainability principles
enshrined in the Treaty.
Project Summary:
Events of the past decade have underlined the sensitivity of many aquatic  ecosystems and water resources systems to pollution from mine waste and effluents 
from active and abandoned mines. The goal of this project is to develop integrated policy guidelines to expedite European legislation and practice in relation
to water management in the mining sector. This goal will be achieved by interactively addressing the multiple facets of this problem at two different levels:
(i) Integrated analysis of the variety of problems in EU Member States and potential accession states in Eastern Europe. (ii) Integration of insights from
disciplines such as law, economics, social policy, engineering and environmental sciences and management. A pan-European multidisciplinary team will
work in close connection with end-user departments of the Commission and an extensive network of national and European stakeholders to deliver an integrated
set of policy guidelines.
Achieved Objectives:
ERMITE’s goal has been achieved by interactively addressing the multiple facets of this problem at two different levels:   
• Integration of the variety of regional and national conditions in EU Member States and in countries from Eastern Europe involved in the enlargement process. 
• Integration of disciplines: water resources, mining, ecology, economy, law, institutions and policy. A key element of the ERMITE methodology was the formation of stakeholder networks at country and European level. National Stakeholder Groups involving
key institutional stakeholders were established in each of the six case study countries. The JRC-IPTS created an interface with the Commission. As part of
this interface, the project organised two European Stakeholder Meetings at DG Environment attended by officers from all the relevant units of the Commission.
ERMITE also was involved with the European Parliament through its contacts with the WWF. ERMITE’s interaction with the European Commission and the European Parliament has contributed to the development of the proposed Directive on the management
of waste from the extractive industries.
Product Descriptions:
The goal of ERMITE was to provide integrated policy guidelines for developing European legislation and practice in relation to water management in the mining 
sector. These guidelines had to be coherent with the catchment management approach defined by the Water Framework Directive and the sustainability principles
enshrined in the Treaty. The project has produced the following deliverables (available at http://www.minewater.net.ermite): 1. National Case Studies: these comprise six national case studies (Sweden, UK, Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) with in-depth analyses
of the conditions in characteristic countries representing different climatic, historical and political situations. 2. Overview of the EU and Eastern Europe: This report gives an overview of the key issues affecting the regulation of mine waters in the EU, accession states
and potential accession states. It includes summary reports of 32 countries. 3. Institutional Research: This report examines in detail the institutional dynamics involved in the management of mine water issues identified in the
six national case studies. It provides the legal and policy framework for mine water management, analysing the most relevant institutional procedures. 4. European Policies and Mine Waters: This report includes a survey of the existing EU policies which influence mine water management, a review of the concept
of environmental liability, and a critical analysis of the ecological concepts used in the European environmental legislation. 5. Economic Analysis of Mine Water Pollution Abatement: This report provides a general discussion on the theory and application of economic decision rules
for achieving mine waste site remediation and mine water pollution abatement efficiently on a catchment scale. 6. Mining Impacts on the Freshwater Environment: Guidelines for mine water remediation on the catchment scale. The ERMITE Guidelines are intended to assist
those involved with the implementation of catchment management strategies in understanding and dealing with the peculiarities of the effects of mining on
the water environment. The guidelines have been published as a Supplement to Volume 23 (March 2004) of the Springer journal Mine Water and the Environment.
7. National Recommendations and Workshop Reports: This report presents the summary minutes from the stakeholder meetings and a global analysis of the findings
of the national case studies and the stakeholder network, including recommendations for institutional improvements in each of the case study countries.
8. Policy Guidelines: The report includes observations on the transfer of research outputs towards the European policy process; analysis and recommendations
on environmental liability; and analysis and recommendations for existing and forthcoming policies concerning mine water pollution and the management
of European river basins. 9. Policy Briefs: These nine single-page documents integrate the key findings of ERMITE into a form accessible for officers of the European Commission and
others working in the field of policy development. Each policy brief addresses a particular policy area managed by DG Environment. The following briefs have
been produced: 1. Water and the proposed directive on management of waste from the extractive industries; 2. Mining and the water framework directive; 2.1
Water Resources; 2.2 Ecology; 2.3 Economics; 3. Mine water and conservation policies; 4. Mine water and soil policy; 5. Mining waste and civil liability; 6.
Water technology and the mining industry; 7. Environmental regulation of mine water and enlargement.
Additional Information:

            
Project Resources:

Summary of ERMITE Project

European national case studies of mine water issues

Overview of the EU and Eastern Europe

Environmental Regulation of Minewaters in the EU: Institutional research

Economic analysis of mine water pollution abatement

Mining impacts on the freshwater environment: Technical and managerial guidelines for catchment scale management

Environmental Regulation of Mine Waters in the European Union: National recommendations and workshop reports

Policy interface issues (environmental liability, mining wastes and river basin management)

ERMITE Policy Briefs
Weblink:
http://www.minewater.net/ermite/
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 5
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Prof Paul Bardos  Who does what?  03/07/2003 17:48:00
Updated by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  03/10/2006 11:34:00