Chemical giant 3M plans to invest 150 million euros in cleaning up pollution with the chemical PFAS. This money will go to small parks in some residential areas of Zwijndrecht, among other things. With this, the company is acknowledging responsibility for the pollution in Zwijndrecht for the first time. Minister Demir is skeptical at present.
York Dupont, Jonas Muellert
3M press release, Belgium
It was Mike Roman, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of US chemical company 3M, who today announced the decision to Flemish Environment Minister Zohal Demir (N-VA). Roman initially wants to invest $150 million in an off-site perimeter repair. This money should go mainly to the cleaning of agricultural areas and industrial sites, but also to a few residential areas in Zwijndrecht. There, polluted gardens will be excavated.
Thus, the company acknowledges for the first time that it is responsible for the pollution in an area not close to the factory. 3M previously stated several times that it was not the cause of the pollution in Zwegendrecht. By providing funds to some neighborhoods, it appears to be returning to this statement for the first time. She does not do this of her own free will. The chemical giant must comply with a soil report prepared in recent years that is currently being read by the waste company OVAM. If OVAM subsequently decides that 3M is also responsible for larger parts of Zwijndrecht, it will also have to comply with this.
Historically high quantity
The 150 million of 3M is also only the first disc, which fits the toxic portion of humans. Subsequently, funds will also have to be made available to repair nature reserves around the plant. A separate arrangement for the Oosterweel business still had to be worked out, as client Lantis had to deal with the massive pollution.
Earlier in September, 3M also said it would release 125 million euros to reduce PFAS discharges, compensate farmers and draw up an action plan for remediation. According to 3M, the amount released is “historically high.” She says never before has a company paid so much for soil treatment as it does now.
For now, Minister Saturn reacts to 3M’s promises skeptically: “I won’t deal with euphoria too soon. Quite the contrary. This is a step in the right direction and it was a constructive conversation. But it shouldn’t stop at words and steps will still be needed.” “.
See also: 3M is fully responsible for PFOS contamination
See also: Jelle Frencken on the 3M . report
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