Environmental Specimen Bank

The Federal Environmental Specimen Bank (UPB) is an instrument for the systematic, long-term and continuous monitoring of the state and pollution of the environment and humans throughout Germany. For this purpose, different types of samples with high indicative qualities are investigated and archived in selected sampling areas in order to document and evaluate the current state (real-time monitoring) and the development of environmental quality. By storing the samples in the gas phase with liquid nitrogen, it is possible to examine the samples for environmentally relevant substances at any time and in as far as possible unchanged condition. This archive also holds samples for retrospective investigations for unforeseen issues (retrospective monitoring).


UPB has been a permanent federal task since 1985 under the overall responsibility of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the coordination of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). We, the UPB Project Group Trier, are one of currently six project partners and are entrusted with the following tasks:

  • Selection and description of the sampling areas, area sections and sampling areas,
  • Continuous collection of territorial information,
  • Development and updating of sampling guidelines and related documents,
  • sampling (terrestrial, limnic and marine biota),
  • biometric characterisation of the samples,
  • Documentation as well as evaluation and assessment of the biometric data.

By applying the high standards of our guidelines, we ensure that the samples and their characterization are comparable in space and time.

A report of the Landesschau Rheinland-Pfalz about the Environmental Specimen Bank (21.07.16)

Further information on the overall programme and the possibility of data research is available at www.umweltprobenbank.de