Arthur de Groof (Secretary of the NICOLE steering group, left) officially finalizing NICOLE’s new name by signing the NICOLE Articles as Civil-law Notary Ms. Miriam van der Velde-Offringa (right) watches, at the Van der Velde Notarial offices in The Hague, The Netherlands on Thursday 23 February 2017.
Broadening the scope
NICOLE celebrated its 20 year anniversary in 2016 as ‘Network for Industrially Contaminated Land in Europe’. As the name refers, NICOLE focused mainly on dealing with industrially contaminated sites. The anniversary provided a chance to reflect on the achievements in the past years and to focus on the future course in the coming years.
Nowadays, there is a considerable amount of societal attention on environmental issues and sustainability. The general public expects companies to operate in a sustainable way. Most companies also have sustainable corporate strategies in place. NICOLE industrial members, supported by the service providers and academics, therefore decided to put contaminated land management in a broader perspective. As NICOLE, we want to show that we are truly committed to contribute to sustainable development of land. NICOLE wishes to reflect the changing focus towards sustainability by all its members with these developments and is showing this in its new name;
‘Network for Industrially Co-ordinated Sustainable Land Management in Europe’.
(Keeping the NICOLE acronym)
Now, a couple of months down the road after the decision, the name change has been made legally official by updating the Articles at the notary. Through this, a significant milestone in the life of NICOLE has now been achieved and we look forward to the beginning of an exciting new era.
We anticipate that NICOLE will maintain active co-operation with public sector bodies in the COMMON FORUM. The COMMON FORUM has set up a special working group to focus on the Environmental Code subjects, with a working group ‘Soil as a resource’. The focus point of this working group is utilizing and managing soil-sediment-water system services and exploring what is necessary to reach land restoration and “land degradation neutrality”, one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
On February 27-28th 2017, the European Commission, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences organized the “China-EU Workshop on Soil policy” in Beijing, China. The workshop focused on increasing soil contamination in varying intensity and significance across the world, including in the European Union and China.
China released its “Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution” on 31 May 2016. The new action plan requires that 90% of contaminated farmland be made safe by 2020, with an increase to 95 percent by 2030.
The Action Plan is consistent with goals included in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan to clean up agricultural land and to reduce contamination from pesticides and fertilizers.
On behalf of NICOLE, Mr. Laurent Bakker (TAUW) gave a presentation on risk-based approach for soil management.
NanoRem bulletins available to download (PDF)
NanoRem (Taking Nanotechnological Remediation Processes from Lab-Scale to End-User Applications for the Restoration of a Clean Environment) was a research project, funded through the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (2013-2017). The NanoRem project focused on facilitating practical, safe, economic and exploitable nanotechnology for in situ remediation. This was undertaken in parallel with developing a comprehensive understanding of the environmental risk-benefit, market demand, overall sustainability, and stakeholder perceptions of the use of nanoparticles (NPs).
Twelve NanoRem Bulletins (PDF) have been created to transfer the knowledge developed within NanoRem to end-users. These are available within the NanoRem Toolbox, available at www.nanorem.eu, which provides more detailed outputs from NanoRem. The NanoRem Bulletins are also available to download here
16TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
CHEMISTRY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The Norwegian Chemical Society (NKS) will organize the 16th International Conference on Chemistry and the Environment from 18-22 June 2017 in Oslo, Norway. The ICCE 2017 conference addresses scientists in academia, industry and in governmental institutions alike.
NICOLE is interested to hear from members if anyone is planning to participate in the conference. We hope to hear your feedback on the event. Please contact Nan Su at the NICOLE secretariat for information or feedback submission.
EU Commission policy update
The European Commission has just published an Environment policy roadmap concerning
NICOLE and the 13th Meeting of the International Committee on Contaminated Land (ICCL) will run back-to-back and allow opportunities for interchange of ideas. The ICCL are regulators and policy-makers from all corners of the globe dealing with contaminated land management.
The NICOLE meeting will focus on Groundwater Management on Contaminated Sites