A risk management framework for Gentle Remediation Options (GRO)
Journal article, 2022

Gentle Remediation Options (GRO) are remediation measures involving plants, fungi, bacteria, and soil amendments that can be applied to manage risks at contaminated sites. Several studies and decision-support tools promote the wider range of benefits provided by GRO, but there is still skepticism regarding GRO implementation. Key issues that need to be better communicated are the various risk mitigation mechanisms, the required risk reduction for an envisioned land use, and the time perspective associated with the risk mitigation mechanisms. To increase the viability and acceptance of GRO, the phytomanagement approach implies the combination of GRO with beneficial green land use, gradually reducing risks and restoring ecosystem services. To strengthen the decision basis for GRO implementation in practice, this paper proposes a framework for risk management and communication of GRO applications to support phytomanagement strategies at contaminated sites. The mapping of the risk mitigation mechanisms is done by an extensive literature review and the Swedish national soil guideline value model is used to derive the most relevant human health exposure pathways and ecological risks for generic green land use scenarios. Results indicate that most of the expected risk mitigation mechanisms are supported by literature, but that knowledge gaps still exist. The framework is demonstrated to support the identification of GRO options for the case study site given two envisioned land uses: biofuel park and allotment garden. A more easily understandable risk management framework, as proposed here, is expected to act as a communication tool to educate decision-makers, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders for better understanding of risk mitigation mechanisms and preliminary timeframes of various GRO, particularly in the early stages of a brownfield redevelopment project.



Ecosystem services

Risk comunication

Risk-based land management (RBLM)

Gentle Remediation Options (GRO)


Paul David Drenning

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics


Shaswati Chowdhury

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Yevheniya Volchko

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Lars Rosen

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Yvonne Andersson-Sköld

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering

Jenny Norrman

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geology and Geotechnics

Science of the Total Environment

00489697 (ISSN) 18791026 (eISSN)

Vol. 802 149880

Enhancing ecosystem services by innovative remediation using gentle remediation options (ECO-GRO)

COWI A/S, 2021-01-01 -- 2024-08-31.

Formas (2018-01467), 2019-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Opportunities for preparing urban contaminated land for bio-based production

Formas (FR-2017/0007), 2017-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Subject Categories

Environmental Engineering



Environmental Sciences



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