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Law 4/2015, for the prevention and remediation of soil contamination in the Basque Country

It has recently been published this new Law 4/2015 regulating the prevention and correction of soil contamination in the Basque Country. This Law seeks to reduce administrative intervention, simplify administrative procedures and adapt the regulation in the Basque Country to some issues already raised in the Spanish Law 22/2011 on waste and contaminated soil.

Following is a short summary of the main news introduced by this Basque Law 4/2015:

  • Update of the inventory of potentially soil polluting activities or sites, within a maximum period of one year;
  • Classification of potentially soil polluting activities according to their potential of pollution, entailing different obligations in each case;
  • Establishment of different administrative procedures: statement of soil quality, statement of qualification for use of the soil or exempted soil (according to the different possibilities established by this Law);
  • New provisions and obligations for sites where waste disposal activities were carried out in the past;
  • Greater detail and attention to the water condition requirements to potentially contaminated waters as a result of soil contamination;
  • Establishment of a new system of taxes for different procedures regulated by Law; and
  • A new structure of the legal text that aims to provide greater consistency and clarity to the regulated contents.

For further information do not hesitate to contact us at

Legal text:

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2015 International Year of Soil

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils #IYS2015

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).


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Municipal asbestos inventory in the Basque Country

SENGEOS has conducted the municipal inventory of asbestos containing materials (ACMs) for the Basque town of Usurbil. Taking into account their date of construction there were investigated 300 buildings in the municipality, finding ACMs in 135 of them. Special attention has been paid to public buildings used by sensitive people as well as to the municipal drinking water network.

At the completion of the survey it has been submitted to the local authorities a report containing the findings and conclusions, recommendations for the proper management of the municipal issues related to asbestos and a digital inventory (GIS file). SENGEOS has made a public presentation of the results.

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