ISO 19204:2017 describes in a general way the application of the soil quality TRIAD approach for the site-specific ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils. In detail, it presents in a transparent way three lines of evidence (chemistry, ecotoxicology and ecology) which together allow an efficient, ecologically robust but also practical risk assessment of contaminated soils. This procedure can also be applicable to other stress factors, such as acidification, soil compaction, salinization, loss of soil organic substance, and erosion. However, so far, no experience has been gained with these other applications. Therefore, this document focuses on soils contaminated by chemicals.
NOTE 1 This document focuses on ecological risk assessment. Thus, it does not cover human health end points.
In view of the nature of this document, the investigation procedure is described on a general level. It does not contain details of technical procedures for the actual assessment. However, this document includes references relating to technical standards (e.g. ISO 15799, ISO 17616) which are useful for the actual performance of the three lines of evidence.
In ecological risk assessment, the effects of soil contamination on the ecosystem are related to the intended land use and the requirements that this use sets for properly functioning soil. This document describes the basic steps relating to a coherent tool for a site-specific risk assessment with opportunities to work out site-specific details.
ISO 19204:2017 can also be used for the evaluation of clean-up operations, remediation processes or management measures (i.e. for the evaluation of the environmental quality after having performed such actions).
NOTE 2 This document starts when it has already been decided that an ecological risk assessment at a given site needs to be performed. In other words, the practical performance of the soil quality TRIAD and the evaluation of the individual test results will be described. Thus, nothing will be said about decisions whether (and if yes, how) the results of the assessment are included in soil management measures or not.
NOTE 3 The TRIAD approach can be used for different parts of the environment, but this document focuses mostly on the soil compartment. Comparable documents for other environmental compartments are intended to be prepared in addition (e.g. the terrestrial aboveground compartment) in order to perform a complete site assessment, based on the same principles and processes.