Mission, tasks, organisation and international projects
'Soil+' was established in 2005. In terms of position, it falls between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the local authorities such as municipalities, provinces and district water boards. The Ministry provides its budget. The clients of Soil+ comprise the various authorities involved in land and groundwater management.
The mission of Soil+ is as follows:
'Putting policies and legislation into practice and vice versa.'
Soil+ performs a wide range of tasks. Approximately 25% of these activities are directly derived from current legislation. Examples include:
- Assessing site remediation programmes and soil treatability.
- Updating the contaminated sites inventory and mapping the environmental quality of the Dutch soil.
- Prioritising public funding for site remediation based on risk assessment and the urgency of remediation.
About 50% of the tasks are related to consultancy, for example:
- Providing strategic and hands-on advice to local authorities in all matters relating to soil, groundwater and sediment issues (such as remediation, reuse, landfilling and treatment).
- Based on thorough knowledge of current practices, offering input for new policy development to ensure feasibility in practice.
The other tasks concern the following:
- Developing and transferring knowledge relating to site investigation and soil sampling procedures, soil quality standards and risk assessment models, in-situ site remediation and ex-situ soil treatment technologies.
- Co-developing regional soil and groundwater management plans.
- Exploring options for underground heat storage.
A broad skill-based organisation (comprising around 35 staff members) covers the full spectrum of activities in the soil sector. Quality assurance and transparency form the basis of the activities of Soil+. Our aim is to strengthen society’s confidence in the organisation, and ultimately in the soil sector itself.
Soil+ actively promotes knowledge exchange with other governments and foreign companies with regard to policy development, legislation, science and technology on soil and groundwater issues. In this process, we work closely with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment , the Netherlands Soil Partnership, the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, the Rijnmond Environmental Protection Agency, our sister task groups: 'Waste, Materials and Mobility' and Infomil, scientific institutes, consultants and contractors. As such, we are involved in government-to-government projects primarily in Romania and, to a lesser extent, in Turkey, China and Canada.