Finnish legislation in connection with soil contamination are firstly waste management legislation and secondly public health legislation and water legislation. There is no separate legislation concerning soil protection or remediation. The Ministry of the Environment has published a proposal for official contaminant guideline values to be used both as criteria for contamination and clean-up target values. Today whether a site is contaminated or not is evaluated according to provisional guideline values set by the Ministry in 1996. In the legislation the liability for remediation has been defined according to the "Polluter pays" principle. In case the polluter is not found or is not able to take care of the remediation, the municipality is responsible for the implementation of remediation, in some cases with the help of central government funding. In most of the cases remedial works have to have a licence from one of the 13 Regional Environment centers. The Ministry of the Environment set up a special nation wide project to evaluate the problems related to soil contamination. The project (SAMASE) published its report in the end of 1994. Report includes a list of potentially contaminated sites and as summary the number of suspected sites is presented. In 1994 the estimate of the number of sites to be remediated for the next 20 years was 1.177. Remediation activity of contaminated sites had long been fairly low, and in the early 901es the number of clean-up projects was 10 - 20. Remediation activity was stronly increased by the SAMASE-project and today the number of clean-up projects is about 150 annually.
Keywords: FINLAND; SOIL CONTAMINATION; WASTE MANAGEMENT; LEGISLATION; PUBLIC HEALTH LEGISLATION; WATER LEGISLATION; REMEDIATION; SAMASE