Construction in Antwerp paused over pollution concerns

Construction in Antwerp paused over pollution concerns
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Construction around Antwerp’s port has been halted amid concerns of PFOS (commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”) pollution, Belga News Agency reports.

The pollution comes from years of leakage from the 3M factory in the Zwijndrecht neighbourhood of the city, which used the chemical in a number of applications related to water and dirt repellents.

Greenpeace, the Grondrecht citizens’ initiative, and activist Thomas Goorden filed a complaint with the Council of State because of concerns related to the works, which were disturbing the soil and causing it to scatter in the wind to other parts of the city.

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They demanded that the contractors follow the measures that had been put forward by the Flemish expert commission, including a delimitation of the polluted soil and the covering of certain areas to prevent further seepage and contamination of other sites.

On Wednesday, the Belgian Council of State ordered the suspension of a key document related to the works which was used by the developer Lantis to move the contaminated soil. This means that digging there for the Antwerp ring road cannot continue.


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