Despite a number of legal acts that regulate emissions and occurrence of hazardous substances in water bodies, several groups of priority hazardous substances, can still be found in the environment and are still emitted. While industrial sources have a solid framework which regulates the emissions of hazardous substances, the majority of small scale emitters of wastewaters (households, enterprises and service providers and municipal entities) are so far weakly regulated and controlled. For several hazardous substances, these small scale emitters are responsible for the majority of the pollution load. Urban areas are in many cases emission hotspots.
Polluted wastewaters and storm water, coming from uses of products and materials containing hazardous substances, end up in municipal wastewater treatment facilities which in many cases are unable to effectively treat this type of pollution. This means that with traditional enforcement techniques (permitting, supervision, inspection) the set policy goals are impossible to reach, innovative measures are urgently needed.
The project aims at identifying and addressing these small scale emitters by various means, adapted to each specific target group. Municipal entities themselves shall exercise own substance reduction measures at their premises. Private small scale businesses and households, will be motivated for voluntary commitments for less hazardous substances by the expert partners and by cooperation with municipal authorities. The actions will not only decrease emissions to protect the environment but also the health of humans in contact with these products and materials. The project will result in Chemicals Action Plans for partner municipalities that will guide their future work with reducing emissions of hazardous substances from enterprises, households and their own entities.
Due to the fact that hazardous substance management at urban areas is a new issue for most municipalities, the development of actions will benefit from a wider, transnational perspective. Municipalities can learn from each other and test out ideas developed in other municipalities. This will help to generate more effective solutions. The results will be communicated to inspire also other municipalities to work with these problems.
The aim is to increase efficiency of water management for decreased discharges of hazardous substances to the Baltic Sea and the regional waters based on enhanced capacity of public and private actors. NonHazCity wants to demonstrate possibilities of municipalities and WWTPs to reduce emissions of priority hazardous substances. NonHazCity acts in 11 municipalities (Stockholm, Vsters, Turku, Prnu, Riga, Kaunas district, Silale, Klaipeda, Gdansk, Lbeck, Hamburg) in the Baltic Sea region. Each of them will be involved in the project as partner or associate.