Two months after the excavation work on the Oosterweel link was halted by the State Board due to the PFAS issue, the works can resume. Lantis, the company responsible for getting the business done and running it, announced this Sunday. The Linkeroever construction area will resume from Monday/AM, and the Scheldetunnel construction area will follow later in the week.
Grondbank, the Flemish region’s soil management organisation, gave the go-ahead to restart excavation work in the Linkeroever working area on Monday. Lantis expects permission to start again next week for the Scheldt tunnel work area. This was done after a thorough analysis by the Committee of Earth Resistance Experts, which was also coordinated with the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM). Concretely, this means that the works can again be carried out with site-specific soils, soils originating from areas of the site. The grounds will remain within the specified work area.
Declaration of Conformity
At the end of December, the State Council suspended the declaration of conformity of the technical reports of the Linkeroever and Scheldt tunnel projects. To fulfill the rule of the State Council, Lantes set up separate cadastral working areas for each licensed project. Technical reports have been fully reviewed in close consultation with the Land Bank.
In addition, the Earth Resistance Expert Committee issued advice on the revised technical reports. To meet the demands of relevant stakeholders, the commission was expanded with two independent Dutch experts, Professor Jacob de Boer and PFAS expert Arjen Wintersen.
The panel of experts unanimously formulated several recommendations on how to deal with contaminated soil. She emphasized that the principle of standing still was respected and that the Oosterweel project was working to improve the pollution situation. In the meantime, the recommendations have been converted into more stringent standards via technical reports, which will be applied in the field from now on.
Achieving more Oosterweel connectivity will be part of a broader process. The commitment to address soil pollution, which originated at the 3M chemical company site, rests with 3M. This remediation project aims to reduce exposure to PFAS from soil and groundwater and focuses primarily on health risks to the environment.
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