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A disused factory in brick with broken glass windows. Photo. Photo: SGI/Ebba Wadstein

Contaminated areas

There are around 80,000 land areas in Sweden, which are known or suspected to be contaminated by different types of environmental pollutants. Many areas run the risk of harming the environment and human health, and must therefore be remediated before the land can be used again.

We have national responsibility for research, the development of technology and knowledge for remediation and restoration of contaminated sites. We are working to increase the rate of remediation and raise awareness.

The rate of remediation must be increased and the level of knowledge must be raised in order for Sweden to achieve the environmental objective of "a non-toxic environment within a generation". This demands a variety of efforts. To improve efficiency, research, technical development and innovation are important.

Excavation and landfilling is likely to be a common solution also in the future. We must ask ourselves: Are there technologies and innovations that make this option more efficient or more environmentally sustainable? Can we develop new remediation methods and technologies on site? Can we conduct more accurate risk assessments?

Through our Tuffo programme (Technological Development and Research within Contaminated Areas), we create opportunities and prerequisites for new research and development projects concerning contaminated sites and increased collaboration between researchers and the industry.

A link between various stakeholders

We strive to serve as a link between universities, consultants, contractors and problem-owners. In combination with research and technical development, we advocate the development of knowledge in the field. Among other things, we make an ongoing inventory of the industry's need for knowledge. The results of the inventory are published and distributed to researchers, research funders and other authorities.

 Our role is to:

  • Identify and disseminate knowledge needs and knowledge barriers to efficient remediation work.
  • Initiate, finance and implement targeted research and technology development in order to reduce technical and scientific obstacles in the remediation work. Financing is provided through our Tuffo programme.
  • Accumulate knowledge (collect, process and disseminate knowledge) regarding investigations, studies and the remediation of contaminated sites.
  • Collaborate with Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and National Board of Housing, Building and Planning in order to, based on accumulated knowledge and expertise, work effectively so the rate of remediation and technical development increases and awareness is raised.

Advice and support

An important part of our work is to provide expert support to county administrative boards and municipalities, in cases related to contaminated sites. The objective is that this work shall also provide us with important information about the knowledge needs of industry and lead to the implementation of new knowledge in projects.

Read more

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has assembled a compendium describing the process involved in the remediation of contaminated sites in Sweden. Contaminated Areas in Sweden .

Page was updated 2020-08-31
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