Consultation shows support for EU soils law

EU governments should make an inventory of contaminated sites and set up a plan to remediate them, respondents to a European Commission consultation on soil protection have said.

The consultation is one of the last steps towards publication of an EU thematic strategy on soils, due next month.

The consultation revealed that contamination is seen by stakeholders and European citizens as the greatest threat to soil, followed by erosion and organic matter decline. In the run-up to the strategy, the Commission has recommended drafting a law to require harmonised monitoring in order to locate and eliminate contamination at source.

Its proposal for soil framework directive was seen by most respondents as the best way to tackle soil protection in the EU. The details of exactly who said what have not yet been released. However it is clear that some economic sectors who would be affected do not agree, for example farmers.

Some 662 organisations responded to the consultation. They were invited to rank the eight greatest threats to soil and the measures that should be taken to overcome them. These include cultivation at optimal soil moisture to avoid compaction, and crop rotations to prevent erosion. EU citizens perceived soil biodiversity loss as a greater threat than organisations.

Republished with permission of Environment Daily

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