Contaminated Sites Ordinance (CSO) and definitions

How is the Contaminated Sites Ordinance structured and what provisions does it contain? How is a contaminated site defined?

  • Section 1 (art. 1 through 4) establishes the purpose and scope of the ordinance and defines important terminology.
  • Section 2 (art. 5, 6 and 6a) specifies how sites polluted by wastes are to be registered in a publically accessible register and how this register is to be maintained.
  • Section 3 (art. 7 - 13) specifies how a polluted site is to be assessed and classified by means of a preliminary investigation of its need for remediation or monitoring.
  • Section 4 (art. 14 and 15) defines the objectives and urgency of a remediation on the basis of a risk assessment made after a detailed investigation.
  • Section 5 (art. 16 - 19) establishes how remediation projects are to be drawn up and the criteria used by the authorities to approve the remediation measures; the assessment of results and the duty to report are also specified.
  • Section 6 (art. 20) specifies who the authorities may require to carry out investigations, monitoring and remediation measures.
  • Section 7 (art. 21 - 28) covers the final provisions.
  • Annexes: contain values for assessing the impacts on water, soil and air and the requisite procedures for carrying out such assessments.

Two important definitions with a difference

  • Polluted sites are operative or inoperative waste disposal sites (landfills) and  industrial and accident sites in which waste was deposited or infiltrated.
  • Contaminated sites are polluted sites that cause harmful effects or nuisances or for which there is a real danger that such effects may arise. Such sites require remediation!

Further information

Last modification 02.07.2021

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