The project

Actions

Action A1

Preparatory works at setting up the baseline or current status. Under the Armada Española supervision.

Action A2

For selecting the most adequate plant species and gather key data needed at further stages of the project. This action will be carried out by AITEMIN with close support from UPM and CIEMAT, and involves limited sampling and small scale tests.

Action A3

The last stage of preparatory works will be shaped into a technical action plan involving all of the beneficiaries under AITEMIN coordination in designing the scope of the implementation actions.

Action B1

As one of the core activities of the project, UPM will have phytoremediation implemented with a dual purpose. First, it is envisaged as the pivotal treatment for this specific site. The other technologies will be combined with it, under different conditions, and the overall performance will be evaluated. It will also be used as an innovative containment action (phytobarrier) aimed at preventing the flux of contaminants out of the current area by groundwater migration. To support the latter, UPM and AITEMIN will set up a combination of control actions (level sensors and groundwater quality sampling) and numerical modelling (both flux and transport). The plants selected will become themselves and interesting object of study, as the mechanisms and pathways for pollutant degradation are essentially unknown.

Action B2

The next implementation action will be undertaken by AITEMIN and involves in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) as the main soil and groundwather treatment at source areas. The rationale behind this is its cost-effectiviness when dealing with high contaminant mass and its short working period. Once ISCO has finished as a shock treatment, biological processes will take over. To this end, the needed infrastructure will be implemented (injection wells, automated injection device) and several injection events (up to 5) will be conducted, comprising several thousand liters each. Also, the existing monitoring network will be augmented and improved by constructing new monitoring wells and logging sensors in order to support Action C1.

Action B3

CIEMAT will be resonsible for development of bioremediation action focused on Enhanced Natural Attenuation trough stimulating contaminants biodegradation by native site microorganisms. The main incentivation measure is BIOXISOIL proposal in itself, since the combination with chemical oxidation (Action B2) and phytoremediation (Action B1) enhances the contaminants bioavailability, promotes aerobic biodegradation routes and allows the flourishing of degrader autochthonous microorganisms associated to the rhizospheric area. Additionally, through adequate laboratory assays, it will be determined whether it is viable the on site injection of products such as biocompatible surfactants or biostimulants, that may improve the final biodegradation rates.

Action B4

The environmental remediation and landscape recuperation is planned to be carried out after the decontamination actions. This task proposed by CIEMAT includes the study of the soil after the techniques are applied. Furthermore, it will be considered if the species used in phytoremediation will be complemented with natural vegetation of the area and then, integrated in the landscape of the zone.

Action B5

The last action involves all of the beneficiaries. The combination of the three above mentioned remedial actions (phytoremediation, ISCO and microbial remediation) will be examined. To implement this action will take some time, as phyto- and bio- processes progressively take over the blunt of the remedial actions. The main feature of this step is a combined methdological protocol aimed at providing answers to items such as: when is the right moment for switching from ISCO to phyto? How much extra contaminant mass has been depleted by the synergic effects of these technologies? How can this experience be extrapolated to other sites and contaminants?

In Action B5 an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions will be put forward by UPM, to promote actions aimed at mitigating their impact and increase the overall sustainability of the project. Input data will be gathered from the start, inventory spread sheets will be run, and results will be analyzed periodically. The carbon footprint will be estimated by considering the consumed amount of every good and service purchased and the wastes generated. The necessary information will be gathered mainly in terms of mass units (Kg, tons) from balance sheets and other accounting documents, which should state the activities associated with every partner. These documents must delimit clearly the products and activities under analysis, avoiding double counting and cut-off problems regarding the separation between primary and secondary data.

Also in Action B5, UPM will assess the reduction of carbon footprint by using the methodology MC3 recognized by the Spanish Sustainability Observatory as a valid means to assess organizations under the frame of the Spanish greenhouse gases Voluntary Reduction Agreement. The use of a technically feasible method to analyze carbon footprint should provide fast and up-to-date results regarding the project activities. This means that actions can be periodically taken to minimize the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. A positive impact is obviously expected from the CO2-sequestration derived from phytoremediation actions.

Action C1

Monitoring and control will be conducted throughout the entire project under CIEMAT coordination and with sensible inputs from the rest of beneficiaries. To this end, CIEMAT will conduct all of the analytical work, and AITEMIN will implement a whole-new GIS dataset to manage the data flux and provide and agile and powerful support to all of the modeling and mapping actions needed.

Action D1

Dissemination and broadcasting actions will be undertaken by all partners under CIEMAT coordination, seeking to promote collaborative efforts with other relevant players such as authorities (EIONET-EEA, Spain’s Ministries of Science and Environment, EPA-Network, Junta de Andalucía, Junta de Castilla La Mancha, Comunidad de Madrid), research groups (EIADES project, UPM-UCM International Excellence Campus, National Institute of Agronomical Research, University of Vienna) and industry partners (EMGRISA, REPSOL-YPF, CEPSA, AECAS, Grupo HERA, GEOCISA and others).

Action E1

CIEMAT will take responsibility of the Managing Board aimed at the project coordination and management. All of the beneficiaries will also participate in this action to provide CIEMAT with technical and financial feedback, and several management meetings will be held to this end. The Managing Board will ensure that the Project is constantly supervised and in line with the LIFE+ Common Provisions.