In cases of permanent environmental damage detected in groundwater or soil monitoring systems have to be established and operated until the damage and/or pollution is eliminated. This may be necessary in the following cases as well: if the pollution source is only of potential danger, if no permanent environmental damage is detectable, but the authority prescribes the observation and control of the surroundings of the pollution source, if the remediation of the damaged area has not been completed; as well as if a remedial technology to hinder further spreading of pollution is applied.
It is the aim of the environmental administration to elaborate standards in order to regulate the conditions and considerations of the design, operation and termination of monitoring systems. This guide has been compiled based on the drafts of the above-mentioned standards with the aim of providing help in the period until they publication.
This guide deals with permanent environmental damages caused by pollution. Change in or contamination of the environment or any of its elements, as well as the use of environmental elements to an extent making the recovery of their natural or earlier status (quality) impossible, or only possible by human intervention within a definite timeframe, shall be considered as permanent environmental damage. The definite timeframe is generally considered to be 4 years following to the site investigation of the damage; other timeframe may be determined for specific cases, if warranted.
This guide does not specify requirements and it does not deal with the needed investigations – that are necessarily more detailed in the phase of site specific investigation, than those determined on the basis of a comprehensive analyses of the current status in order to monitor changes - to be performed in the course of the site investigation of pollution and polluted areas causing permanent damage. The determination, design and operation of the monitoring system – the relevant area, the monitoring network, substances to be analysed, monitoring frequency, the aspects of evaluation - dealt with in this guide are to be carried out based on the above mentioned site specific investigation. A separate guide on the requirements of site investigations is under preparation.