The 3M plant in Zwijndrecht operates under an environmental license. The company said this in a statement. According to 3M, FBSA is already present in wastewater from certain production processes, but it is said to be in low concentrations with no indication of toxicity.
The company said Tuesday that 3M is operating with an environmental license obtained in accordance with applicable law and in consultation with relevant authorities. “The environmental permit was renewed in 2020, and it sets limits for substances for which the law sets a limit.”
The company says 3M does not manufacture FBSA. “However, FBSA is present in low concentrations in treated wastewater from certain production processes. Treated wastewater is strictly monitored and there is no indication of acute or chronic toxicity at these low concentrations.”
On Tuesday afternoon, 3M came to explain during an Environmental Inspectorate hearing. “No immediate measures were imposed after the hearing,” the company said. On Wednesday, the inspection will remain with Flemish Environment Minister Saturn Demir (N-VA), after which proceedings against the company can be pursued.
3M says it will continue to work with authorities and take steps to operate as safely as possible. “We are investing in the further expansion of our state-of-the-art water filtration system using technologies such as reverse osmosis, activated carbon filters, ion exchange and other technologies.”
The Environmental Department said Tuesday night that 3M was unable to answer all questions during the hearing. It appears that “as a result of the hearing, the Environmental Inspection Authority requested additional information from the company.” “Since there are still questions, a coordinated implementation (Environment Inspectorate, VMM and OVAM) is scheduled for 3M tomorrow.”
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