Guideline for a risk-based approach to the management of contaminated former military sites in Latvia

This guideline has been produced to assist the management of contaminated sites in Latvia, in particular disused Russian military sites. A risk-based approach is proposed for adoption in the assessment of such sites in line with the approach adopted in recent years by other countries in the European Union. Some countries have set fixed numerical criteria to assess contaminated land based on generic assumptions on site conditions such as; soil type, depth to groundwater, geology and hydrogeology, and proximity to potential receptors (eg. groundwater supply well, surface water body). Such an approach ignores the fact that contaminated sites vary widely in terms of both complexity and the potential risk they may pose to either human health or the environment. As fixed numerical criteria are nearly always set at very low levels, their use leads to the clean-up of more land than may be necessary. The result is wastage of resources with clean-up costs incurred without an incremental reduction in risk to human health and the environment.

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