Innovative management solutions for minimizing emissions of hazardous substances from urban areas in the Baltic Sea Region                                     

March 2016 -
February 2019

Priority area:
2. Natural resources 2.1 Clear waters


The pollution of the Baltic Sea from urban areas is a common problem, which cannot be solved by a single country. The project will implement concrete substance reduction measures and make the Baltic Sea region a front runner in chemicals management at the local level.



Despite many years of efforts for reduction of emissions of hazardous substances to the Baltic Sea several groups of priority hazardous substances and specific pollutants are still released to the environment through three main pathways: industrial wastewaters, municipal sewage and storm water.

While industrial sources have a solid framework regulating emissions of hazardous substances by permits of operation and by treating their wastewaters, the majority of small scale emitters in the urban areas cannot be efficiently regulated due to low amounts or concentrations of the substances of concern, and controlled because of the large number of emitters.

The project wants to demonstrate possibilities for municipalities and WWTPs to reduce emissions of priority hazardous substances (HS) and other pollutants from small scale emitters at urban areas that cannot be reached by traditional water treatment and enforcement techniques. The substances of concern will be identified and prioritised, sources tracked and ranked, individual Hazardous Substance Source Maps and Chemicals Action Plans developed by each partner municipality. Municipalities will exercise their own substance reduction measures at their premises.

Private small scale businesses will do pilot substitution actions and improve their chemical assortment. Inhabitants will be shown their hazardous substance emission share and test the use of less hazardous chemicals in everyday household management to help to protect the Baltic Sea environment but also their own health.

The project acts in 10 municipalities (Stockholm, Västerås, Turku, Pärnu, Riga, Kaunas district, Silale, Gdansk, Lübeck, Hamburg) in the Baltic Sea Region. Each of them will be involved in the project and will conduct hazardous substance mapping based on existing or newly generated data. Most of the partners plan to develop a “Chemicals Action Plan”; the project will pilot different reduction measures in the different municipalities. It will result in emission reduction from pilot actions (low-cost/low-effort actions) that can easily be extrapolated to a larger scale and replicated by many stakeholders, other cities in the BSR and beyond? it will make proposals for actions that require investments for specific substitution cases and calculate their cost effectiveness ratio? and, finally, it will have motivated the inhabitants of the partner cities to see their contribution to a reduction of emissions from everyday use of household chemicals and cosmetics.

Highlights by mid-term:

97 sewage samples were taken and analysed in five municipalities: Pärnu (EE), Riga (LV), Gdansk (PL), Kaunas (LT), and Silale (LT). PP1 Stockholm prepared a template and guidance material for municipalities' Hazardous Substance Action Plan Outlines.All eight partner municipalities used this template, based on sampling, source mapping, and substance flow analyses, to come up with new Chemical Action Plans.

The municipalities of Stockholm (SE) and Västerås (SE) conducted trials in phasing out and changing mattresses at preschools following findings of high concentrations of phthalates and flame retardants in old mattress covers.

Training materials for the reduction of hazardous substances were created for hairdressers, hotels and boat owners.

Project Stories


€ 3.54
€ 2.80
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00



Project manager

City of Stockholm, Environment and Health Administration

Arne Jamtrot

46 850 828 939

Legal representative

Municipality of Stockholm

Gunnar Söderholm

46 850 828 810

Financial manager

Baltic Environmental Forum Deutschland

Matthias Grätz

494 053 307 076

Communication manager

Baltic Environmental Forum Deutschland

Matthias Grätz

494 053 307 076