Number: 2015/24 - 2016/10 - 2017/11
Period: 2015 – 2017
Terms of Reference
Project description and aims
The Baseline Report has been introduced in European law since only a few years. Nonetheless, some Member States have already acquired a considerable experience regarding soil investigations, with well established procedures based in some cases on decades of practical experience.
The aim of the IED Baseline Report is primarily the assessment of the soil quality at the start of the renewal of the permit of a industrial activity as to establish an initial state. The objective is to provide a basis for comparison upon definitive closure of the activity, as to make possible the application of the “polluter pays principle” on a objective basis.
On the other hand, the management of contaminated sites has been since a long time a strategic issue in the whole Europe because the presence of a soil pollution compromises the possibility of a good and efficient land planning. In particular in the context of industrial activities, it has been frequently observed that the lack of legal framework regarding the assessment and the management of soil pollution is often a deterrent for investors to choose to settle a new industrial activity in a polluted area. In the absence of clearly established rules and procedures, the legal insecurity creates too many financial risks for projects, pushing investors to choose others areas, sometimes to the detriment of other land use such as agriculture, natural areas or housing, and ultimately leaving brown fields to the care, and charge, of public authorities.
Better implementation of the IED Baseline Report means also more efficient procedures, leading to better knowledge of the state of the soil for a lesser investment in terms of duration and cost of investigations. This can be achieved through a more narrowed targeting of field works.
Giving the varying level of regulatory and practical experience in this matter among Members States, IMPEL could use the existing experience in its network to gather the best practices in place and identify key factors of representativity in soil investigations as to help promote a both efficient and pragmatic approach to the development of Baseline Reports. It could also identify key challenges in implementation and practical enforcement, as well as solutions to these that have already been put in place by the practitioners.
The intention is to produce a listing of the existing procedures among our members and an analysis of the best practices already implemented. Members could benefit from the knowledge and experience already in place and take whatever they find applicable to their needs.
Lead country and contact
- European Commission Guidance 2014/C 136/03 concerning baseline reports under Article 22(2) of the IED Directive