Farmers from the Zwijndrecht region can report from January 24 to claim compensation from 3M. It’s about cents on additional investment, costs and lost sales after PFOS contamination in their vicinity. Flemish Environment Minister Saturn Demir (N-VA) non-pop: “This is a rat’s move.”
As early as September, 3M announced that it would provide funds to farmers who have suffered damage from PFOS contamination in the area around the plant. It comes to 10 million euros that should have been the “first payment” pending the full support scheme. Carl Franken, holder of the PFAS contract for the Flemish government, announced today that affected farmers can submit a report from January 24 to February 14.
Farmers can submit their files online or through session days to be organized by agricultural organizations. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries will then evaluate their file and determine whether the farmers are entitled to compensation. All affected farmers must be compensated by the end of March.
Please note: This is not a final compensation from 3M, says Carl Franken. “This should not be seen as a settlement or any other form of settlement.” In other words: if farmers accept it, it does not mean that they cannot subsequently become a civil party in a potential lawsuit. However, Franken is satisfied with this initiative. “We have imposed strict measures in the Zwendrecht region,” Franken says. “These people have felt it in their wallets. So I am glad that we came up with this arrangement on the initiative of 3M and with agricultural organizations and that we can provide compensation to these farmers.”
Flemish Environment Minister Saturn Demir (N-VA) is also satisfied, but stresses that this is the first step for the mouse. It appears that “3M has to come up with a solid solution for an integrated solution.” “It goes without saying that farmers in the area should be able to get proper compensation for the damage done to them from 3M and that the polluter should pay for it. But 3M will have to innovate a lot for the people.”
Meanwhile, the Flemish government is still in talks with the chemical giant after the default notice it sent to all 3M managers in September. Part of production at the Zwijndrecht plant is also still suspended.
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