Soil and groundwater contaminated by harmful substances at current and former industrial sites has emerged as a serious social issue, while a substantial move is taking place to transform the social system from one based on mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal, to a sound material-cycle society.
Under these circumstances, corporations with an active concern regarding soil and groundwater contamination organized the Japan Forum for Soil Environmental Remediation (JFSER) in December 1992. The JFSER takes action to improve contamination countermeasure technologies, study relevant systems and cases in the United States and Europe, and obtain new findings through research.
Consequently, in order to respond to concerns regarding this issue and social needs, the Geo-Environmental Protection Center of Japan (GEPC) was established in April 1996 for promoting remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater and contributing to protect human health and conserve the living environment. GEPC is Japan’s sole non-government public service corporation involved in the issues of soil and groundwater contamination.
Through a thorough revision of the Survey and Countermeasure Guidelines for Soil and Groundwater Contamination, the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law went into effect in February 2003(http://www.env.go.jp/water/dojo.html). The primary purpose of this law is to protect the public health by conducting the soil contamination countermeasures, whereby specifying the soil contamination conditions and establishing measures to prevent human health hazard by the soil contamination.
From now on, under the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law, full-fledged and integrated efforts are required to solve geo-environmental problems through development of remediation technologies, increased risk communication and so on.
GEPC is determined to acquire expertise from industry, academia, and
government and carry out activities to create a sound soil and groundwater