Solec Kujawski Stakeholder Workshop

Impression from test site in Solec Kujawski, Poland - the so-called Dark Zone

On 6.-7. June 2013, the FP7 project HOMBRE convened in the Regional Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Solec Kujawski a seminar with different stakeholders invited from Solec Kujawski. The meeting's focus was on the management of brownfield regeneration. In this context, HOMBRE presented examples of solutions used in small cities, like Solec Kujawski, as well as in larger cities, such as Bydgoszcz.

The HOMBRE and TIMBRE projects both include Solec Kujawski as one of their case study research areas. The event was intended to jointly discuss possible policy options and technical solutions for brownfield regeneration, pointing at the local and regional benefits and barriers. Whereas HOMBRE focussed on describing mechanisms that, pretty much the same in every corner of Europe, result in the formation and regeneration of brownfield land, invited partners from TIMBRE presented the achievements in testing innovative methods of soil remediation – the test in Solec Kujawski was conducted in autumn 2012.

Next to HOMBRE and TIMBRE partners, about twenty stakeholders participated in the event. There were stakeholders representing regional authorities such as the Regional Environmental Directorate, the Regional Environmental Inspectorate, the Regional Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and representatives from the municipality of Bydgoszcz. From Solec Kujawski the mayor Teresa Substyk and representatives from relevant departments as well as persons from the town council - board members, and representatives of local institutions participated in the two-day event. In total, there were about thirty people.

The workshop started with welcome words by Dr Wojciech Irminski, who is partner of the HOMBRE project and organised the event, and Teresa Substyk – the Mayor of Solec Kujawski. Then presentations on the brownfield situation in Solec and Bydgoszcz and the HOMBRE approach to a zero brownfields framework and related indicators followed before a field trip to brownfield sites in Solec Kujawski concluded the first day.

On the second day, Dr Janusz Krupanek from IETU Katowice gave an overview of the TIMBRE project’s aims in Poland - briefly referring to all TIMBRE activities underlining the potential usefulness of the tools for Solec Kujawski. Dr Nicolas Fatin-Rouge from the University France-Comte, Besancon, France then presented to the audience the results of the soil flushing tests conducted with reused fluids within the TIMBRE project on the Solec Kujawski test site.

Characteristic soil profile in Solec Kujawski showing dark zones of strong vertical extension of creosotes contamination

The objective of this TIMBRE presentation on flushing tests was to give the local and regional stakeholders the most accurate information about the situation about what happened in their field during the tests of this innovative remediation approach. The in-situ extraction of contaminants by foam technology is quite innovative. Despite suggested at the end of the 1990s, it has just started to emerge from the laboratories. TIMBRE is evaluating the potential of surfactants used as foaming agents to lower the surface tension of the liquid therefore to create or stabilize foams. Re-use is required to reduce the costs of treatments and impacts on the environment. TIMBRE is taking the studies from the lab to the field in Solec Kujawski (and another test site in Hunedoara, Romania). The specific challenge in Solec Kujawski is illustrated in the picture, which presents a characteristic soil profile showing dark zones of strong vertical extension of creosotes contamination. The following pictures provide impressions from the field soil flushing test site in Solec Kujawski.





This presentation raised interest and sparked discussion on potential application of soil washing methods in the local case. It was suggested for example to use it as an on-site option. In fact, expectations of participants of the workshop in Solec Kujawski towards the presented technology were very practical focussing on the question: What can be immediately and directly used for the future of their brownfield - and also for the others in the neighbourhood? Representatives of local government welcomed the application of the method as an option for future activities on the site.

Despite the presentation of this new technology needed to be quite technical for some of the local people, as a result of the discussions the conclusions were drawn that people are better informed about the risks concerning this brownfield, and moreover that the exchange was fruitful in order to help the municipality with the determination of a remediation strategy and technologies. Revitalisation options were discussed shortly in work groups with different stakeholders. Moreover, long and detailed off-discussions were hold with Dr Irminski, who is in charge to follow the remediation works as an expert. TIMBRE partners from University France-Comte will stay in contact with the local experts to exchange about the remediation works and help if possible.

For further TIMBRE activities in Poland, see also the events on the expert workshop on “Brownfield remediation in Poland – state of the art” and the evaluation and training event "Integrated Planning and Assessment of Land Re-Use", which both took place in 2012 in Zielona Góra.