NICOLE E-News July 2015


NICOLE Workshop update – A very informative Successful Workshop

The workshop in Manchester between 24 and 26 June on emerging contaminants was the largest in a number of years.

Not only our NICOLE members showed a great interests we also enjoyed interest and new members from the United States and even as far afield as Australia.

On behalf of the chair of NICOLE – Lucia Buvé (Umicore), chair of the workshop, Rick Parkman (Aecom) and partner David Polya (University of Manchester) we would like to thank you again for your contribution and participation.

Presentations are available for downloading at NICOLE website (please log in as member first).

NICOLE workshop 2015 fall – Environmental Liability Directive: Implementation, experience and national case studies – Your vote for the subject to be debated

Brussels, Belgium, 4th – 6th November 2015

The call for papers has been distributed within the network, if you have any questions or would like to contribute, please contact the NICOLE secretariat.

During the workshop, besides conventional presentations, we will also have a debate session to encourage the sharing of opinions.

We would like to ask you to vote which of the two subjects you would like to see debated. In addition, if you have a suggested motion which you would prefer to see debated, please let us know. The current proposed options are:

A. «This House believes that environmental damage cannot be fairly monetarised».
B. «This House believes that voluntary environmental remediation delivers better and more sustainable outcomes compared to remediation carried out under regulatory duress»
The structure of the debate is that one person presents for 5 minutes maximum in favour of the Motion, and a second person then puts the case against the Motion. There is a Chair to ensure fair play, and the active participation of the audience is then encouraged to make comments and put other viewpoints.

After say 30 minutes of open debate, the two speakers are then given a final 5 minutes each to summarise their case, address any comments from the floor which undermine their position, and conclude as to why their position is the correct one.
The audience is then asked to vote on Motion and we will get to see who has been the most persuasive. It will be made clear that the winner’s stand point does not represent NICOLE’s position on the subject! Chatham House rules will apply, that is to say that anything said in the room stays in the room, no-one is allowed to take what someone might say and use it for other purposes. So it allows people to open up and perhaps make more controversial statements! All for the sake of a lively and interesting debate!
If you can all vote for one of the two options, A or B, please send your vote to the NICOLE secretariat before 13 July.

Phil Crowcroft (ERM)
OC Chairman

Technology Award – Results

After the nominated candidates presented their submitted abstracts to the workshop, the participants voted to determine the final result. In a very close race, it turned out that the winner of the Technology Award 2015 is Claudio Albano and Bill Diguiseppi (CH2M) with the subject of «Solar/Wind-Powered Subgrade Biogeochemical Reactors.»

The 2nd place winner is Quentin Hulm (Cornelsen) with the subject of «Innovative remediation technology for the treatment of PFC/PFAS-contaminated groundwater.»

The 3rd place winner is Richard Bewley (AECOM) with the subject of «Brownfield Remediation of Hexavalent Chromium Using an Innovative Form of Calcium Polysulphide.»

NICOLE congratulates all three on this success and we would once more very much like to thank every one for submitting their abstracts, the basis for a great edition of the NICOLE Technology Award.

New working group – Operational Window of Remediation Technologies

During the Manchester Meeting Thomas Held (Arcadis) presented the need for a new NICOLE WG on Operational Windows. It is based on the need for cost and technically effective technologies. This means that both established (ISCO) and emerging (Nano remediation, thermal remediation incl. STAR) technologies need to be considered. Improved decisions will reduce the costs for remediation and increase the acceptance of cost-effective (in-situ) remediation technologies. Members interested to co-operate please contact or send an e-mail to NICOLE secretariat.

Kind regards,
Thomas Held

NICOLE and SuRF-UK «Reg Basis for Sust Rem» Report

Why adopt sustainable remediation?
Soil and groundwater remediation, although designed to remedy contamination and reduce risks to human health and/or the environment, also has the potential to cause environmental, economic and social impacts. If poorly selected, designed and implemented remediation activities may cause greater impact than the contamination that they seek to address. The best solution is remediation that eliminated and /or controls unacceptable risks in a safe and timely manner, and which maximises the overall environmental, social and economic benefits of the remediation work.

This report was drafted by NICOLE and SuRF-UK together.
The report can be downloaded at


Nanoremediation update by Catherine Leaf

Nanoremediation describes the in situ use of nanoparticles (NPs) in the treatment of contaminated groundwater and soil. Nanoremediation processes generally involve reduction or oxidation, which in some cases may be facilitated by an embedded catalyst. As a result of their size, NPs have unique properties, which may give nanoremediation benefits over competing technologies. Anticipated benefits of NP use in remediation include increasing the speed and degree of contaminant destruction, extending the range of treatable problems and avoidance of generating intermediate breakdown products.

The NanoRem project is a €14M, four year research project funded by the European Commission with a very large research team representing 28 partner organisations from 13 countries. It is designed to further investigate the potential for NPs to be used as a remediation technology in a European context and was previously described in the October 2014 NICOLEnews bulletin. As explained in that update, NICOLE is represented on the NanoRem project by Catherine Leaf, a contaminated land specialist with Ramboll Environ (formerly ENVIRON). Catherine is a member of the Project Advisory Group for NanoRem focusing on the practical application considerations relevant to problem site owners and service providers including cost, effectiveness, treatment mechanisms and periods and the need for a clearly defined end point which will address both regulatory requirements and sustainability. Here Catherine provides a brief update on the NanoRem project following the midway project meeting held in Barcelona in April.

NanoRem is making substantial progress. An essential part of the NanoRem project is the proof of concept of NP based remediation at a range of field sites. Particles tested include different kinds of nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI), Carbo-Iron® and iron-oxide (Goethite) NPs, see below. Each of these particles targets specific contaminants (e.g. organic, inorganic, chlorinated hydrocarbons). They enhance specific remediation processes (chemical reduction or oxidation, microbial dechlorination or oxidation etc.). Moreover, each NP suspension has specific requirements with respect to hydrogeological (coarse or fine grained porous material, fractures) and hydrogeo-chemical (pH, salinity, redox conditions etc.) site conditions. As of May 2015, different particles have been injected in pilot sites in Zurzach (CH), Usti nad Labem 1 (CZ) and Besor-Secher (IL). By the end of 2015, four additional applications will take place in Usti nad Labem 2 (CZ), Balassagyarmat (HU), Barreiro (PT), and Nitrastur (ES). These field scale experiments are providing practical experience in the varying requirements of practitioners and regulators across the different countries which is hugely valuable in furthering the understanding of the practicalities of applying nanotechnology as a remediation technique. This work is supplemented by large scale tank experiments taking place at the Vegas facility in Stuttgart and detailed mobility studies to support process optimisation.

If you are interested for more information please contact Catherine Leaf



September 6- 10 2015, Vienna, Austria

Engineered nanoparticles and nanomaterials offer many potential benefits as a result of novel properties and behaviour that materials can exhibit when manufactured or precisely manipulated at the nanoscale. The 10th ICEENN will bring together researchers, regulators and industry from all over the world to discuss the potential hazards and resulting risks of current and future applications in the key sector of nanotechnology, along with ways to characterize nanoparticles and mechanisms to bring about risk reduction to harvest the economic and social benefits of this fascinating technology.
BodemBreed Symposium 2015

24 November 2015, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

BodemBreed has been the main conference on soil issues in the Netherlands for more than 25 years.

Apart from the ‘classic’ theme of dealing with soil and groundwater contamination, the themes at BodemBreed this year include Spatial planning, Knowledge and innovation, Landfill management, and Water and Climate

NICOLE Fall Workshop 2015

4 – 6 November 2015, Brussels, Belgium

The proposed content of the workshop will be about:
– General practice across Europe;
– Pollution prevention to avoid the application of ELD;
– Experience with implementation;
– Challenges in the assessment of a site’s situation and in remediation.

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