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Integr Environ Assess Manag. 2010 Apr;6(2):240-8. doi: 10.1897/IEAM_2009-049.1.

From ecological risk assessments to risk governance: evaluation of the Norwegian management system for contaminated sediments.

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  • 1Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, PO Box 3930 Ulleva┬░l Stadion, NO-0806 Oslo, Norway.


Managing of contaminated sediments is a complex process that will naturally have to balance scientific, political, and economic interests. This study evaluates the Norwegian system for managing contaminated sediments toward a generic system for risk governance encompassing both knowledge, legally prescribed procedures, and social values. The review has been performed examining the management plans for 17 prioritized contaminated fjord systems in Norway. The results indicate a strong focus in the Norwegian management system on ecological risk assessment. This facilitates selection of local sustainable remediation measures, but may also complicate the balance toward other relevant interests in a decision-making process. The Norwegian system lacks management tools to identify and handle ambiguity through concern assessments and stakeholder involvement, and the decision-making process seems to a large extent based on ad hoc decisions, making it difficult to incorporate and document multicriteria evaluations into the management process. To develop a sustainable management system, encompassing environmental, economical, and social interests, a stronger focus on concern assessment and multicriteria evaluations is required.

(c) 2009 SETAC

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