On top of pollution in Malmö’s oil port

Last updated 10/13/2015 11:38 AM

Monitoring the situation – this is how the aim of the environmental project in Malmö oil port can be summarised. The project has involved surveying soil pollution. In the next stage, common guidelines will be produced to manage pollution. It will simplify matters for CMP, the businesses in the area and for the Environment and Health Administration – and is better for the environment!

Handling oil and chemicals in Malmö started more than 55 years ago. Over the years, inspections and clean-ups have been implemented in the Oil Port, but no comprehensive picture of the pollution situation in the 800,000 square metre site has been produced. A project was therefore initiated in autumn 2013 with the Environment and Health Administration in Malmö, CMP and the companies in the Oil Port acting in unison. A total of around fifteen companies are participating in the work, including Statoil, OKQ8, Vopak Sweden and 

Scandinavian Tank Storage.
”The ultimate objective is a better environment. We want to achieve this by producing guidelines for managing soil pollution in the Oil Port”, reports CMP’s Environmental Manager Petra König. Such guidelines make it easier for both authorities and companies, for example, in relation to guide values and future actions.

Broad collaboration
A similar project was previously implemented in a energy port with good results. The working method has consequently been named the Göteborg model and is based on broad cooperation between port, companies and authorities. 

”The dialogue between authorities and companies is important. It provides clarity concerning decisions and processes and ensures that the prerequisites are clear for everybody involved”, says Petra König.

Work on the Göteborg model will take place in three stages – survey, in-depth risk assessment and guidelines. The first stage was completed in Malmö before the summer. The engineering consultant Sweco performed the survey, with all reports on environmental soil investigations, pollution encountered and decontamination performed in the area collected in a new database. It involves some 90 reports and results from about 800 soil samples and 340 water samples that are now assembled in a single location.

”Fortunately the results show that things are not as bad as we thought”, says Petra König. ”What we have found is mainly linked to bad practices from the period when handling methods were different and environmental considerations were not as high profile as is the case today. So even if there is soil pollution in the area, the spread is limited”. 

Point out the risks
The survey was presented in June and Sweco simultaneously started work on the next stage, the in-depth risk assessment.  

”We will then be ascertaining and appraising the risks that there are for people and the environment as a result of the pollution that exists in the soil and groundwater”, says Petra König. The results will be compiled in a report which will be ready in October.

Guidelines will be produced for the practical work based on the risk assessment, for example, which guide values are to apply for the area, when decontamination should take place, what form contacts with authorities should take and not least which preventive measures are required. 

”The guidelines will be in place during the first half of 2016 and will make things easier for all of us”, says Petra König, who also had a coordinating role in the project group. 

”The coordination is significant. The project will give us a better picture of what there is in the area and how we should handle the environmental impact together”, she says. 

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