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ENVIRONMENT, NATURE AND ENERGY POLICY
OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders) is an internally independent agency with powers of jurisdiction and is part of the Environment, Nature and Energy policy domain of the Flemish government. This governmental agency was established by the decree of July 2nd in 1981. It was also described as the first Waste Management Act in Flanders. The primary purpose of this legislation was the improvement of solid waste disposal practices.
Currently, OVAM is the competent authority covering not only the issues of Waste and Sustainable Material Management, but also dealing with Soil Contamination (Soil Remediation Act, February 22nd, 1995). This Decree (revised in 2007) is a powerful instrument to address historical as well as recent soil and groundwater pollution. The main objectives are the remediation historical contamination and prevention of new soil pollution.
OVAM prepares and implements the policies on sustainable material management and soil remediation. Combining those two items, OVAM is developing the new policy concerning (enhanced) landfill mining (ELFM). In 2011, a vision on ELFM was approved by the board of directors and resulted in an operational programme over the period 2011–2015.
Our ultimate goal is a true circular economy in which a sustainable management of waste, materials and soil makes new resources as materials, energy and land available.