3M promises € 150 million to clean up Antwerp pollution

According to the company’s statement, American chemical company 3M has pledged to invest € 150 million in the cleanup of pollution caused in the Antwerp district of Zwijndrecht.

The Ongoing contamination scandal The results of the study show that PFAS pollution from the company’s industrial activities in Flanders has a negative impact on both the environment and people living within the large radius of the factory.

The government warns people throughout Flanders not to overeat their chicken eggs or garden-grown produce due to the high levels of dangerous goods in both soil and air. ..

PFAS contamination has also been observed in the blood of people living near the factory.

“We want to establish a constructive and collaborative relationship with the Flanders authorities to address the concerns of all stakeholders. Today, in providing a broad commitment to Flanders’ neighbors. It represents another important step forward in the process, “said Microman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 3M, in a statement.

“These investments will help strengthen our environmental responsibility and achieve long-term stability of 3M’s business in Belgium. Further PFAS-compliant manufacturing processes in compliance with local safety measures. While striving to get it up and running, we continue to promote and operate non-PFAS-related manufacturing. “

A legacy of “huge” pollution and long-standing efforts

3M states that the company has promised to address legacy PFAS previously manufactured at the Zwijndrecht facility, but many of the post-scandal scandals declined to comment and appealed a ruling to shut them down. And now it provides the information requested by the government.

“There is a limit to patience,” Zuhal Demir, Minister of the Environment, warned at the end of last year that “despite the formal notice, despite repeated requests for two months, there is a lack of important information.” “.

According to Demir, this recent € 150 million will be used specifically to initiate the excavation of locals’ gardens, but the work is only the first step. More times this amount. “

According to 3M, a certified third-party soil restoration expert has recently completed important work on soil surveys. This should help inform remediation measures both in the field and in the surrounding area.

According to the company, the cost associated with the initial corrective action is currently estimated at € 150 million. The actual cost can be much higher.

Particularly disadvantaged are the farmers in the region, who face government warnings that no one should consume the products that represent their livelihoods.

3M states that it is working with Flanders authorities and local farmers’ unions to establish a “goodwill compensation process.”

“This process is underway and in the coming weeks, dozens of agribusinesses will start receiving payments,” the company said in a statement.

Photo: 3M logo on Zwijndrecht’s site © Belgium 3M promises € 150 million to clean up Antwerp pollution

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