Environmental protection a priority in peat production

Vapo Oy is continually developing environmental protection expertise and water protection methods for peat production, the aim being to minimize the environmental impacts. Vapo is involved in several research and development projects related to managing the environmental impacts of peat production.

The SulKa-project – innovative new methods to reduce the watercourse load

This project attempts to find new types of methods to treat run-off water from peat production and to improve and deepen understanding of the methods currently in use to make them work more effectively.

Within the project, sub-projects focus on small-scale chemical treatment and using passive materials in water treatment, analysing the basic mechanisms of the functioning of wetlands and managing large run-off peaks. The project also examines factors affecting the watercourse load of peat production, how water protection structures perform during flood periods and humus leaching.

The project is being implemented by the Finnish Environment Institute and the Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Laboratory of the University of Oulu. The project is 100% financed by Vapo.

SuHE-project - forecasting and managing the acid load

The peat production part of the project attempts to find methods to rapidly identify and reduce the acid watercourse load caused by the oxidation of sulphide soil. This is a problem in coastal regions in Northern Finland, but also in areas with so-called black shale sections in the bedrock.

The project also aims to add to the knowledge of the factors affecting acidification in sulphide soil and to develop models for the well-managed transfer to the after-use phase of areas being released from peat production that may already be acidified.

The project is being implemented by the Finnish Environment Institute, the Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Laboratory of the University of Oulu, the Finnish Forest Research Institute and the Department of Geology and Mineralogy of Åbo Akademi University. The bulk of the project financing is from the European Regional Development Fund /North Ostrobothnia and Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. Vapo is a co-financier of the project.

The TASO project – raising the water protection level in peat production and forestry

The peat production part of the project tests new water protection methods and evaluates applications for them. Monitoring methods able to measure the impacts of peat production and self-supervision are also being developed. Training is also being organized within the project to increase the water protection awareness and expertise of peat producers and contractors. The bulk of the project is being implemented in Central Finland in the catchment areas of Saarijärvi route.

The project also aims to compare the load caused by peatland forestry and peat production to the background load of a mire in the natural state. This will provide information e.g. on the leaching of humus from these sites. The project also uses modelling to analyse how the suspended solid and humus load spreads.

The main financiers of the project include the Ministries of the Environment, Agriculture and Forestry and Employment and the Economy. Vapo is a co-financier of the project.