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Soil contamination, soil remediation or soil survey

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you conduct activities that may contaminate or impair the soil, or do you instruct others to perform such activities? You must report this to the provincial or municipal authorities. This includes activities that (may) lead to erosion, increased density, or salinisation of the soil. Do you detect soil contamination or impairment at your business site or another site, you must report this as well.

Are my business activities soil-threatening?

Do your business activities cause soil-threatening substances to be released into the soil? You must take preventive measures. The Netherlands Soil Protection Guideline for Industrial Activities (NRB) describes if and how businesses need to take this. You can determine if your activities are soil-threatening with the step-by-step-plan (Stappenplan NRB) in part 3 chapter 2 of the NRB (see pdf, in Dutch).

Soil survey before your start soil-threatening activities

Do you perform activities that pose a risk to the soil? Do you for instance work with soil-threatening substances? You must have an approved soil broker carry out a soil survey before you start your business activities. This soil survey will record the soil quality at the time (baseline survey).

If you end your activities, you must have another soil survey carried out (final survey). Does the survey show that the soil was degraded or contaminated by your business activities? You must have an approved soil broker restore the soil quality. For instance, by having a recognised company carry out soil remediation or reduction of soil contamination.

Combining soil surveys when buying or selling

When you buy or sell a piece of land, you can also have a soil survey performed. This serves a different purpose than a soil survey in case of contamination or for activities hazardous to the soil. These two types of surveys can be combined under certain conditions. Soil surveys are not mandatory when buying or selling land.

Notification of soil remediation or reduction of soil contamination

You must notify the provincial or municipal authority if

  • you perform a soil remediation procedure
  • you perform activities that reduce soil contamination
  • you move heavily contaminated soil

Please contact your municipality to find out if you have to notify the provincial authority or the municipal authority.

You do not have to notify if you can reasonably assume that the contamination is not serious, ánd:

  • the amount of contaminated soil is less than 50 m3;
  • the amount of contaminated ground water is less than 1,000 m3; or
  • you temporarily move soil that is not heavily contaminated, and you intend to move it back

BUS notification (BUS-melding) for simple remediations

You can report straightforward and comparable remediations that can be completed in a short period to the competent authority Wbb (bevoegd gezag Wbb) via the so-called BUS notification (BUS-melding, in Dutch). BUS stands for Besluit uniforme saneringen, and in English: Decree on harmonised remediation. This notification procedure is simplified and shorter than the regular notification procedure.

Which authority you report to depends on the location of the remediation. The Dutch government provides an overview of the competent authorities and their contact information (Contactgegevens bevoegde overheden Wet bodembescherming, pdf, in Dutch).

You have to start your soil remediation within 1 year after the BUS notification. You can find more information on the BUS notification (in Dutch) on the website of the Dutch government.

Online application procedure via Message Box

At the province of Noord-Brabant you can apply for the following permits also via Message Box: the BUS notification, the notification of soil remediation or reduction of soil contamination, the notification of soil contamination or soil impairment and the notification of soil contamination by thin manure. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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