Keywords: absolute risk assessment, relative risk assessment, contaminated sites, European strategies, health risk, ecological risk, limit value, quality criteria, soil contamination, groundwater contamination, environmental pollution, environment, Italy, soil quality, groundwater quality
Development of quality objectives for contaminated sites: state of the art and new perspectives
Local soil contamination, mainly associated with industrial facilities (both in operation and after closure), uncontrolled (industrial and/or municipal) waste landfills, mining and diffused leaching underground storage tanks and pipelines, is an actual and relevant environmental priority in Europe. Different approaches have been applied in the European countries during the past few years to develop the quality objectives for contaminated sites according to the following three categories: the limit value criterion for soil and groundwater; the absolute risk analysis for a given contaminated site; and the comparative (or relative) risk analysis among different potentially contaminated sites. The present paper gives, together with a synthetic state of the art of the contaminated site management situation at different EU countries, a view on the current experience, problems and regulatory requirements in Italy on these possible soil and groundwater quality approaches, also with comparative considerations to other significant European and international strategies.