The Baltic Sea has many “hot-spots” with highly contaminated sediments in ports, estuaries etc. Human activities often take place in coastal areas and are affected by these “hot-spots”. Activities e.g. maintainance dredging in ports and fairways due to more deep-draught ships and expanding ports will imply dredging of several million m3 incl. contaminated sediments in coming years.
How to handle dredged contaminated sediments is a major problem. Alternatives are few, costly and require complicated technical methods to reduce environmental impact. Dredged sediments are normally deposited on land or at sea. The first is very costly and the latter is often not possible due to environmental restrictions. Emerging treatment technologies make it possible to consider beneficial use of contaminated sediments. One potential method is the stabilization/solidification method reducing environmental impact and improving technical properties thus enabling beneficial use of contaminated sediments as construction material saving costs and natural ending resources. This method has been studied and demonstrated/verified by field tests proving that it adds to sustainable handling of contaminated sediments in line with HELCOM´s high priority to decontamination of the Baltic Sea. The project has contributed to the mainstreaming of managing of contaminated sediments by the established guideline and tool-box on "Sustainable Management of Contaminted Sediments" based on a sustainability approach. The questions are highlighted in “EU Marine directive” and ”Baltic Sea action Plan”. The project will contribute to the HELCOM guidelines concerning sea disposal of dredged masses. The project will cope with the urgent need for sustainable assessment incl. guidance of different handling alternatives. The project has 10 partners from Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Germany and 20 supporting organisations in these countries but also in Estonia, Denmark and Russia.
The guideline incl. the tool-box and a large number of reports produced by the project are available at the SMOCS website www.smocs.eu and free to download. The partners have established "SMOCS Network 2013-2017" with the website www.smocs.eu and will meet once a year to transfer of experience of the application of the guideline etc. If interested to join the network please contact the SMOCS project manager Mr Göran Holm with e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or SMOCS communication manager Mr Bo Svedberg with e-mail: email@example.com
The project main outputs 1) the guideline, 2) the tool-box, 3) the field tests and 4) the durable network are all implemented and finalized successfully. The structure of the guideline incl. tool-box comprises "what to do" and"how to do" in the different decision situations in the whole prcess of a project. The tool-box comprises e.g. assessment methods (e.g. Life Cycle Analysis and Risk Assessment) and decision support tools (Multi Criteria Decision Analysis). All reports by the project are also finalized. The guideline incl. tool-box and all reports by the project are available on the website www.smocs.eu and free to dowload. The partners have agreed to continue cooperation in a network after the closure of the project from 2013 to 2017.
Following the communication plan a large number of stakeholders have been approached and got interested in the outputs of the project. For example a very large investment is on-going in the Port of Gävle, Sweden comprising deepening and widen the fairway and the port and beneficial use of the dredged contaminated sediments for the new port areas by treating the sediments by the stabilisation/solidification method. Hence reducing the use of ending natural resources. Additionally it is cost saving for the port. Many ports are now looking into the possibilities to the beneficial use of dredged contaminated sediments. The contamination situation in the Baltic Sea as well as available binder componants (type, amount) in the the countries involved in the project has been investigated and are open to public. A very large number of downloads of SMOCS brochure and newsletters as well as very large participation in events by the project have been experienced.