French approach of inventory of closed and abandoned waste facilities and risk classification as required by article 20 of directive 2006/21/EC

Abstract : This project first consists in an inventory of closed and abandoned mining waste facilities located on the whole French territory. All the data collected are then used for a risk classification step. The French territory is characterized by a rich mining history and a great diversity of its mining exploitations. It is now well known that some of these exploitations are potentially responsible for serious impact on human health and environment through soils and waters pollutions and/or failures due to physical instability of the mining waste deposits. In order to identify and to classify the mining sites which could cause a serious threat to human health, a first methodological approach was developed by GEODERIS on two French regions (Languedoc-Roussillon and Auvergne). At the same time the European Commission established the Directive on the management of waste from the extractive industries (Directive 2006/21/EC). This directive, often referred as the 'Mining Waste Directive' (MWD), requires in Article 20 that 'Member States shall ensure that an inventory of closed waste facilities, including abandoned waste facilities which cause serious negative environmental impacts or have the potential of becoming in the medium or short term a serious threat to human health or the environment is drawn up and periodically updated...'. In this context, the French Minister of Ecology has decided to start a project dealing with the aim of article 20 of the MWD. GEODERIS is in charge of this project and is assisted by BRGM and INERIS for the field investigations. The general approach adopted for this project first consists in an inventory of closed and abandoned mining waste facilities located on the whole French territory. These waste facilities are then gathered in geographical districts which are classified on the basis of the potential impact (environmental and sanitary impact) of their waste facilities. Inventory and classification protocols were developed and tested by GEODERIS. The inventory protocol is first based on a preselection step which produces a selection of mining sites/titles containing waste facilities that would be reasonably candidates for inclusion in the inventory. The preselection step is performed using the French mining database designed and updated by GEODERIS (BDSTM database). It uses simple criteria and parameters available in this database (administrative statement of the mining site, production data, main extracted substances, etc...). All preselected sites/titles will not be necessary included in the final inventory. The second step of the inventory protocol concerns the data collection for the preselectioned mining sites/titles. The aim of this step is to identify and characterize by basic data the three compartments of the conceptual model : contamination sources - pathways and receptors. It's important to note here that this basic data collection is not a full risk assessment approach. The data collection is based on desk studies for the well documented mining sites/titles and on field studies for insufficiently documented mining sites/titles. In the present work, we have only considered mining waste deposits and leachates as contamination sources. These are characterized by basic data (volume, height, slope, grain size of waste, acid mine drainage.....) and are located on topographic maps in a digital environment. For sites/titles where a field study is required, samplings of mining waste and leachates are carried out. In some cases, in situ analyses are also carried out using an XRF analyzer (NITON ). On the whole French territory the number of mining sites/titles to be visited for the step of data collection is estimated to about 600 (without coal mines). Until today, 330 mining sites/titles were visited. During this data collection step, some basic data are also collected on pathways (discharges of mining waste in a watercourse, dust generation, evidence of hydric erosion, thickness of the vadoze zone, site accessibility, vegetated cover, slope of the waste pile, etc.) and receptors (location of : population, livestock, recreational area, culture area, well for drinking water or livestock watering, etc.). All the data collected are then used for the risk classification step. According to the type of data collected in the inventory work we have decided to develop a classification protocol only based on simple evaluations without calculations (based on tables of classes and matrix of table combination). This protocol is based on the evaluation of a potential of toxicity for each contamination source, of a potential of transfer for pathways and of a level of stakes for the receptor compartment. The combination of these three parameters allows the calculation of hazard scores which are directly used for the final classification.
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Philippe Baranger, Aurore Stephant, Bernard Mazenc, Julie Albrecht, Marion Kimmel, et al.. French approach of inventory of closed and abandoned waste facilities and risk classification as required by article 20 of directive 2006/21/EC. 1. Congrès international sur la gestion des rejets miniers et l'après-mine (GESRIM 2012), Apr 2012, Marrakech, Morocco. ⟨ineris-00976315⟩

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