A comparison of European state policies on 'orphan' sites
Contaminated land is a serious problem in most countries with any industrial history. Contaminated land policy is still being formed, and there is little commonality in approach. Some states have laws, either on statute, or in draft, which deal specifically with contaminated land. Some use other legislation to control this area. Those states with vulnerable water supplies tend to be most concerned, particularly with 'orphan' sites. However, responsibility for identification and remediation varies within countries, as well as between states, as does the funding regime. There are few specific remediation standards. The number of sites in need of remediation is also largely unknown. Costs are high, leading to prioritization due to inadequacies in funding. The European Environment Agency could act as a focus for co-ordination and dissemination of knowledge. 'Orphan' sites need to be part of national and international policy.