In an emergency ruling, the State Council declared the certificates on which client Lantis transferred PFOS-contaminated soil to Oosterweel’s business illegal.
On Antwerp’s Left Bank, client Lantis is digging up PFOS-contaminated soil at the Oosterweel wharf, the connection that should circle the Antwerp Ring Road. This is the case, for example, where tunnel shafts are installed. The part of the land located further away is being used for a safety barrier around the site of 3M, the US multinational company that is the source of the historical pollution.
The State Council last night called for these actions to be called into question in an emergency ruling. According to the council, certificates issued by the Flemish state agency Grondbank licensing the business, or so-called declarations of conformity, are illegal. That is why the council suspended those certificates. The case was brought by the environmental organization Greenpeace and the Basic Civil Rights Movement.
Lantis was allowed to move the contaminated soil because she considers the entire Oosterweelwerf a one and the same project – or ‘cadastral working area’. But according to the State Council, it is about “three separate projects, each subject to several permits.”
Not two, but three yards
In doing so, the council goes further than the former Flemish Waste Agency. According to Offam, there were two working areas, so according to the State Council, there are three areas: In addition to the Oosterweel works on the left bank and the Scheldt Tunnel, there is also the working area on the 3M sites, where there is a safety berm that will be built. So declarations of conformity violate Flemish rules. They make it possible to transfer soil from one working area to another.
The State Council made a very short-term decision, due to the potential public health consequences of PFOS contamination. A spokesman for the State Council said: “The displacement of land in the work area cannot be done legally.” “A new match advert must be placed in order to continue.”
Green asks to stop
Spokeswoman Annick Dirks says Lantis is studying the ruling and cannot comment at this time. She says she cannot estimate the outcome of the ruling at this time, but that the ruling may place a heavy burden on the progress of Oosterweel’s business.
Earlier, a civil judge in a Similar case In summary actions there is no need to take urgent measures. “We are not opposed to the Oosterweel project per se,” replies Jonas Fernmin, a spokesperson for Grundrecht. “We just want those PFOS causes to be treated responsibly.” Last night, Groen demanded that all Oosterweel’s work be halted. The decision to suspend the State Council may not be appealed.
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