Photo: Mark Hermans – Media House
/ Zwijndrecht / Antwerp –
The Antwerp Provincial Government will not send a whistle to the Flemish Commission of Inquiry. The fact that 3M will enforce fairly flexible discharge standards for all types of PFAS vehicles for another year is a remarkable fact. And 3M themselves might come up and explain why they used another connection, FBSA, and possibly dumped it without a license. “If the company crosses the line, it will be held accountable,” said Flemish Environment Minister Saturn Demir (N-VA).
“A new element in the 3M coil we are building,” said the government of Flemish Environment Minister Saturn Demir (N-VA). I submitted an application to the 3M website Thursday night for sampling. I’m looking for FBSA, another one of those ominous acronyms. A material that 3M is using and possibly releasing, but the company has never indicated that it will work with.
An accredited laboratory is now analyzing those samples. “If 3M crosses the line, the company will be held accountable, and this has been our position from the beginning and will remain so,” Demir Cabinet said. Because you cannot go out without a permit. In any case, the producer of the chemicals is expected to report to the government everything they use. Another thing 3M may come to clarify with the Inquiry Committee of the Flemish Parliament.
Who will also have to provide the text and explanation is the Antwerp delegate. VTM revealed that they are quite lenient when it comes to the standard of discharge imposed on the 3M. A discharge of 30 milligrams per liter of PFOS, the substance that made the ball roll in the scandal, is allowed. In most companies it is much less. For other PFOS, the group of virtually non-degradable chemicals of which PFOS is one, the standard is even higher. 3,700 milligrams for one liter, and 5,000 milligrams for the other. Even substances that pose a greater health risk in the long run.
Please note that this is a temporary condition. 3M was unable to arrange its water treatment plant and was given a delay until mid-2022 to sort things out. In the meantime, actions are underway to make the standard more solid.
“But it’s still less robust than the other companies,” says Flemish MP Miki Schweflege (Groen). “They should stick to 0.1 milligrams per liter, not 1 milligrams per liter, as 3M should do.” The fact that Minister Demir asked the province to hurry up was not enough for her. The county must also adhere to the measures. Who is responsible for these procedures? “
Apple with pear
The county denies that 3M has received preferential treatment. “The criteria are not the same for two companies. It depends on the size of the company, what the activities are, you name it. You cannot compare apples to oranges.”
There is also better news to report. Flemish Commissioner Karl Franken came to explain the results of three investigations to the commission. “We haven’t measured any additional values of concern,” he says. “However, it is still necessary to be careful, especially when eating eggs of free-living chickens that live outside on the ground.”
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