The soil remediation in Colombia

Alfonso Rolando Rodríguez Pinilla.
R3 Environmental Technology Colombia SAS

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In Colombia there has been great concern about the negative impact to natural resources due to industrial growth in recent years. This concern is part of our Constitution where the state is obliged to protect and conserve natural resources.

The efforts of the national government have been many in this regard; however, legislative developments and international conventions approvals resources such as water and air are much stronger than those that have been developed for the soil. To that extent, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the process of establishing clear policies in this regard lies in the implementation of new work plans and specific normative and technical update.

According to the above, the overall challenge is the development of a strong and clear policy for the management of those lands that have been impacted by some type of contaminant. The ultimate goal is to provide companies, environmental agencies amongst others, a management tool for the identification and remediation of contaminated soils.

The soil is an environment component as important as water or air; however, their characterization comprises an array with extremely important and complex phenomena that require a multidisciplinary participation for their study and understanding. It is understood that beyond the floor surface, is the place that allows the development of life of a large number of organisms (plants, bacteria, among others).

There must be a balance between environmental factors directly involved in soil fertility in order to perform its many functions. When this balance is affected by some external factor outside the soil constituents (physical, chemical or biological ) the pollutant is presented.

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In addition to the above, the process of identification, evaluation and remediation of contaminated soils is still in its infancy in the country. The studies conducted in this area are more voluntary actions of some companies with an awareness of social responsibility towards people and the environment. However, these companies have limited efforts to not have specialist advisors that permit proper risk analysis and propose a remediation option ideal a contaminated site.

The r3 Environmental Technology Colombia SAS project is a response to this range of needs in the country and provides a new alternative for the implementation of these processes. This company of british origin is specialized in consultancy, research and implementation of projects of sustainable remediation of contaminated water or eroded soils, through the use of low impact technologies such as biochar (biochar), nanotechnology, compost, organic materials and management of hazardous waste.

R3 projects are aligned and adapted under British framework for assessing the sustainability of soil and water remediation supported by "Sustainable Remediation Forum Uk " (SuRF UK) , which allows a clear result and safe of a process sustainable remediation.

Methodologies of sustainable remediation

Globally you can find several techniques that have been developed for soil remediation. These methods are usually classified into two types: "in- situ" treatments that correspond to the same site where the contamination occurred and "ex - situ "corresponding to a shipment of contaminated soil elsewhere for their respective treatment. Remediation treatments are also classified according to the type of procedure to be implemented according to the type of contamination; they may be treating chemical, physical, biological or thermal type among others.

If remediation activities are not well selected, designed and implemented they can cause more contamination, increased costs and giving a negatively affect to the policies and guidelines of a company. The best solution is the remediation process to ensure the reduction of contamination safely and effectively, and to maximize environmental, social and economic benefits.