The management of contaminated land cannot only be based upon
contamination levels measured in soil and/or groundwater. On the
contrary, the management of a contaminated site must be based on an
appreciation of the risks posed by the contamination, taking into account
the future use of the site.
The core of a risk-based approach is the elaboration of a site conceptual
model; this is the first and most essential step to ensure that there is a
robust and defendable basis for contaminated land management.
Data acquisition was first highlighted by the 2002 NICOLE meeting in Pisa
as a key step towards deriving a conceptual model. The Pisa workshop
focused on cost-effective site characterization methods. The workshop in
Carcassonne on 10-12 May will use real contaminated land case studies
to emphasis data acquisition for the development of robust and appropriate
conceptual site models, combining information on geology, biology and
the chemistry of the subsoil. Innovative and cost effective data collection
methods in support of the site management decision making processes
will be emphasized, rather than “wanting to know what is in the soil”.
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