NICOLE Autumn 2020 Workshop, Portugal – 22nd-23rd October 2020

When: 21-23 October 2020

Where: Porto, Portugal

Topic: The End of Liability

Venue: ISEP – Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431
4249-015 Porto – PORTUGAL

The NICOLE network strives to develop and promote site specific, sustainable, risk based and cost-effective management and remediation of contaminated land, optimized through careful consideration of the environmental, social and economic impacts and benefits in choosing the most appropriate management plan. Land stewardship is one of the key focus points of NICOLE.

The understanding of the risks associated with subsurface impacts and the development of treatment technologies have improved significantly over the past decades. Meanwhile the number of treatment technologies available to the practitioner has also increased. However, the definition of fit-for-use approaches, the determination of the desired endpoint of remedial activities and acceptability of residual contamination continue to be subject of discussion. Further challenges arrive considering the variety of national regulatory regimes, the continuous emergence of newly identified contaminants, new insights in toxicology and the progressively increasing importance of sustainability issues.

The Porto workshop aims at providing a platform for a discussion and an exchange of perspectives related to the beginning, the management, the transfer and the end of the liability of a contaminated site. The topics on which this workshop will focus are:

1 – Legal and contractual issues
National and supra-national environmental legislation is in continuous evolution. Although there is a general tendency to become more restrictive, significant differences remain with regards to the definitions of “contamination”, “pollution” and “damage”. How can legislation evolve and adopt a more common view on contamination issues? What contractual mechanisms are appropriate to manage, transfer and terminate liabilities? And, how can it be dealt with in a regional context with potentially mixed plumes and/or where several parties are potentially involved?

2- Technology approaches
How can the choice of technologies impact and influence the future liability of a site? How do more aggressive short-term technologies compare to more passive and potentially more sustainable and longer-term treatment technologies under the context of the termination of liability?

3- Insurance, accounting and investment aspects
How do insurance companies and private equities deal with endpoint of liability? What are the most important aspects to consider from a financial and investment perspective? In what way can these aspects influence the overall management of site contamination? How are environmental liability provisions taken into account when investing in a company?

4-Sociological and stakeholder perspectives
How do other stakeholders, such as local authorities, site neighbours and NGOs see liability? What forums and discussion platforms would be appropriate for a joint discussion on the management of liability associated with contaminated sites? Do ethical considerations have a role to play, and if so, how? How will remaining liabilities continue to influence the reputation of a company?

For more information please contact the NICOLE Secretariat or visit http://www.nicole.org/pagina/26/Upcoming_events.html