The Brussels government has agreed to revise the bill that sets out the rules on cleaning polluted soil in Brussels. This was announced by the Brussels Environment minister Céline Fremault (cdH) on Friday.
This major overhaul will mean fewer obligations and reduce administrative costs. It will also optimise the procedures for testing and treating polluted soil. However, the ambitious objectives of protecting the environment and public health remain the same, she said.
If the owner or user is not responsible for the soil pollution, Brussels authorities will cover all the testing costs. They will also cover more of the depollution costs.
Although invisible, soil pollution and the pollution of underground water affect 400 hectares in Brussels. A bill drawn up on the 5th of March 2009 became law the following year. The government has decided to modify it after an evaluation in 2013.
As well as the Brussels government covering the costs of recording a plot of land on the soil health inventory, the notion of pollution types has been introduced. Requesting dispensations and waivers will be made simpler when land is being sold. Detailed tests for unaccountable pollution that has spread outside the boundary will also be made easier to access.
The procedures will be made quicker if pollution is discovered by chance.