Networks, joint regional-state-federal groups, associations

Federal and regional-state specialists network extensively nationwide via thematic working groups.
European and international networking in the field of contamination cleanup has been ongoing for many years, thanks to project funding from the European Commission.

Table of Contents

 

National level

Bund/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Bodenschutz (LABO)

The LABO is the federal and regional-state soil conservation board of the Environmental Minister’s Conference (Umweltministerkonferenz, UMK), whose members are senior federal and regional-state soil conservation officials.
The LABO’s main goal is to promote harmonized implementation of soil conservation regulations and to recommend ways to optimize them. The LABO advises the UMK and the Konferenz der Amtschefs der Umweltministerien des Bundes und der Länder (ACK, conference of the chiefs of staffs of federal and regional state environmental ministries), and carries out the tasks assigned by these bodies.

The various regional states take turns chairing the LABO steering committee.
The LABO currently has the following three standing committees:

  • Standing committee no. 1: the Recht (law) committee (BORA)
  • Standing committee no. 2: The Vorsorgender Bodenschutz Recht (soil stewardship) committee (BOVA)
  • Standing committee no. 3: the Altlasten (contaminated-sites) committee (ALA)

The contaminated-sites standing committee (ALA)

The ALA focuses on the technical underpinnings and implementation issues concerning identification, investigation, assessment, monitoring, cleanup and follow-up measures for the following:

  • Suspicious sites
  • Suspected contaminated sites and deleterious changes in the soil
  • Contaminated sites

The various regional states take turns chairing the ALA.

Ingenieurtechnischer Verband für Altlastenmanagement und Flächenrecycling e.V. (ITVA)

The engineering association for contaminated-site management and land recycling known as ITVA was founded in Berlin in 1990, as a politically and economically unaffiliated organization, by committed site cleanup experts from both eastern and western Germany, backed by the then environmental minister Klaus Töpfer.

ITVA seeks to (a) promote cross-disciplinary dialogue among experts and interested parties; (b) aggregate competencies in the field of follow-up soil conservation measures; and (c) point the way to viable solutions for the numerous problems related to contaminated-site management and land recycling. The UBA is an associate member of ITVA.

ITVA publishes altlasten spektrum, a professional journal for contaminated-site management, soil and groundwater conservation, and land recycling in German speaking countries.

 

European level

The Common Forum on Contaminated Land (CF)

The CF, which was initiated in Bonn in 1994, comprises an informal network of contaminated-site and groundwater experts from EU member state environmental ministries and agencies. Since its inception, the CF has published numerous position papers and statements of position on European soil conservation policy.

Network on Industrially Contaminated Land in Europe (NICOLE)

NICOLE is a European contaminated-site management forum that promotes cooperation between the industrial, research and service provider communities for the development and use of sustainable technologies.
NICOLE aims to enable Europe’s industrial sector to identify, assess and manage contaminated sites in an efficient, affordable, and sustainable fashion.

 

International sphere

International Committee on Contaminated Land (ICCL)

The ICCL, which was founded in 2001 under the name Ad Hoc International Working Group on Contaminated Land, is an informal network for international information interchange and cooperation that is open to all of members of the international community. The forum discusses tasks and problems related to soil and groundwater contamination that are attributable to site contamination.