ETCA Concerted Action Environmental Technologies

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   1/1/1998         Duration: 36 months         Project Type: Concerted Action
Contract Number: ENV4- CT97 - 067
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Contaminated land-->Contaminated land overview
Diffuse pollution-->Diffuse pollution overview
Groundwater protection-->Groundwater protection overview
Project objectives:
Note the ETCA web site, is now defunct.  A link to the co-ordinator: Austrian Research Centre, Seibersdorf, has been provided.  
ETCA was funded under the Fourth Framework Programme of the European Union, in the Environment and Climate Programme.  Its main emphasis was oriented towards 
the driving forces of the development of environmental technologies. Complying with the direction of the Fifth Framework Programme and the key action, sustainable
management and quality of water, ETCA was focussed on the pollution prevention of water bodies to · Assess and minimise pollution originating from contaminated sites, waste disposal sites and sediments · Prevent or reduce diffuse pollution originating from land use practices · Contribute to novel in-situ and on-site remediation techniques combined with efficiency control · Contribute to guidelines of good land use practices and management methods to reduce the risk of diffuse pollution
Project Summary:
Conclusions including socio-economic relevance, strategic aspects and policy implications     
   Protection of European Water Resources     
A challenge      
The concept      
 Legacies of the past      
 Management strategies      
Technical solutions      
Beside looking for best technical solutions on the basis of the research programmes of the European Union, future key elements of an European environmental 
policy have to be reflected in the light of scientific results. One such element could be the concept of an European soil philosophy. Discussions on the level of involved experts addressed the question of a possible future common European interest to harmonise the national and regional
activities and efforts. There exists a common understanding that soil, due to its multi-functionality in our eco-environment should not be regarded as a mere local environmental
component, thus reducing its pollution load and capacity to a mere local problem. All questions in connection with soil, being the body of the transboundary
movement of water, the catchment zone for transboundary movements of airborne pollution, the recipient for waste and the basis of our alimentation, as of most
of our human activities, deserve very intensive discussions. The Protection of European Water Resources Some of the major results from the ETCA workshops and meetings organised under the umbrella title of 'The Protection of European Water Resources', have been
published together with the concerted actions: CLARINET, BIOSET and NICOLE in a common statement reflecting aims, tasks, strategies and tools. A challenge for the future consists in providing high quality water in sufficient quantity at affordable costs. Maintaining the various functional roles
of water in ecosystems, requires sustainable land and water management practices. In a sustainable economy socio-economic and ecological benefits should
converge and areas of production technologies and environmental technologies will overlap. Modern technologies to prevent water pollution aim at a sustainable future but this cannot be achieved without addressing the environmental legacies from
the past. The concept has to change from the compartment thinking to the complex thinking of the water cycle. The environment has to be considered as a whole. The permissible
level of pollutants in drinking water is not only a problem of drinking water but the expression of an overall understanding, vision and goal of the whole complex
of risks. Changing the concept does not mean to enhance risks, but the attitude towards risks with at the moment not predictable consequences in future. A new
approach must be system-oriented involving co-ordinated efforts of a larger number of scientific disciplines. Transdisciplinary research projects therefore
should be funded to demonstrate their contribution to a practical environmental risk management. Legacies of the past. A long history of environmental pollution is archived in soils and sediments. Water transfer through the 1,5 million contaminated
sites across Europe can leach contaminants into groundwater. Former industrial areas, contaminated agricultural soils, contaminated sediments and landfills
are already causing serious problems for landuse, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, as groundwater which is a major source of drinking water. Changes in
landuse as climatic changes may turn more of the sinks of pollution present in soils and sediments into new sources. Environmental risk management has to result in sustainability. Most problems cannot be solved by technology alone. They need long term environmental risk
management approaches, which can take socio-economic changes into account. Cleaning all soils and sediments by hard and fast technical means is not a solution
considering fitness for use. Management strategies have to be developed dealing with: · ecological aspects The identification and analysis of pollution and its impact on human health, water re­sources and other environmental receptors · economical aspects The relationship between soil and water contamination and fitness for use, which specifies the conditions for sustainable land-use in urban and rural areas.
· spatial planning aspects Anticipation of land-use changes that may affect the release of pollution, registering land-use restrictions due to contamination or long term cleanup
activities, planning of water use, river management Technical solutions have to be found concerning · prevention and reduction of pollution originating from contaminated sites, waste disposal sites and sediments. · prevention and reduction of diffuse pollution originating from land uses, land use changes and climatic changes The concerted actions CLARINET NICOLE BIOSET and ETCA have identified a large number of related research needs. The list below is a non prioritised selection
of what is actually needed: · low cost assessment and monitoring of bioavailability of pollution and its effects · fitness for use and cost-effectiveness of remedial technologies · improved monitoring and data interpretation techniques · controlled biodegradation in contaminant source areas · improved understanding of contaminant transport and fate in consolidated aquifers (particularly fractured systems) · validation of human exposure pathways · monitoring and stimulating ecological recovery · characterisation of ecological requirements related to human land use · developing practical means of incorporating ecotoxicological risk measures into environmental risk management frameworks · management and communication which take real and perceived risks into account Landfills The short and long term behaviour of pollutants and pathways to groundwater from MSW landfills has been considered, also the importance of engineering and
site specific factors along with current approaches to liability and the long time horizons that need to be considered. The changing nature of inputs, engineering
and management practices, prevention strategies and remediation approaches are important issues of this waste management option. Experiences with older
landfill will not provide a reliable guide. Active procedures such as flushing and engineering a forced aerobic phase to stabilise the emplaced waste following
the methanogenic phase were discussed in the light of achieving limit values and re-mobilisation of pollutants. Required enhancements on current practice
of 2 orders of magnitude were needed for some pollutants to justify limiting liability periods to 30 years. Evidence of major pollution problems (plumes in
excess of 1000m) from existing landfill were rare but, given the long stabilisation times within the landfill and lack of knowledge of the long term behaviour
of such plumes, there was little cause for complacency. In line with the precautionary principle, composition-based (by type not individual materials) pre-treatment
prior to disposal was considered the way forward. aftercare of existing landfills, which generally consists in capping. Many represent a future hazard as disintegration of the capping system might restart
leaching. This is particularly so in the “Eastern” states where past standards were poor and different behaviour between “eastern” and “western” landfill
sites is evident. The problem is recognised as a major environmental issue in these countries but available predictive modelling of landfills is inadequate
to be confident of the level of risk posed. A pro-active approach to reducing the problem is to enhance the
Achieved Objectives:
Scientific achievements:     
Contribute to the assessment and minimisation of pollution originating from contaminated sites, the prevention or reduction of diffuse pollution originating 
from land use practices. Contribute to novel in-situ and on-site remediation techniques combined with efficiency control and contribute to guidelines of
good land use practices and management methods to reduce the risk of diffuse pollution. Main deliverables: Proceedings of workshops Darmstadt 1998 Nancy 1998 Dresden 1999 Venice 2000 Leeds 2001 Socio-economic relevance and policy implications: Exchange of information between the relevant research groups, clustering of projects, provide a platform to identify and define problem-oriented issues,
identifying gaps where further research is necessary. Conclusions: The development of an European soil philosophy, fit for use risk based remediation concepts and enforcing the development of effect measurement devices,
strong cooperation ties of the research groups
Product Descriptions:
Titles in the Series:     
Recycling Technologies, Treatment of Waste and Contaminated Sites – May 1996, Hanover Germany.  ISBN-3-9500255-5-3     
European Workshop on Environmental Technologies – Wastewater Treatment and Monitoring, Abatement of Emissions to the Atmosphere, Cleaner Technologies. 
November 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark. ISBN-3-927729-47-7 European Workshop on Recycling Technologies - Treatment of Waste, Remediation of Contaminated sites and Life Cycle Assessment. October 1997, Lisbon,
Portugal. ISBN-972-676-165-4 European Workshop on Environmental Technologies – Wastewater Treatment and Monitoring, Abatement of Emissions to the Atmosphere, Cleaner Technologies.
October 1998, Nancy, France. ISBN-3-9500255-7-X The Protection of European Water Resources - Contaminated Sites, Landfills, Sediments, Diffuse Pollution. June 1999, Dresden, Germany. ISBN-3-934253-01-6
The Protection of European Water Resources - Contaminated sites, Landfills and Sediments. June 2000, Venice, Italy. ISBN-88-900537-0-4 The Protection of European Water Resources - Contaminated Sites, Landfills, Sediments and Diffuse Pollution. May 2001, Harrogate, UK. ISBN: 0- 85316-
226- 3
Additional Information:
Concept&discussion papers  
TOWARDS Sustainable Rehabilitation    
of Contaminated Land in Europe  
the Clarinet network  
TOWARDS a Framework for Selecting   
Remediation Technologies  
for Contaminated Sites  
Framework for Evaluating   
Remediation Technologies 
Project Resources:
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework 4 Funding Programme FP4 of European Community activities in the field of research and technological development and demonstration
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Mr Jörg Frauenstein  Who does what?  04/01/2006 13:28:00
Updated by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  22/02/2007 17:31:00