We find ourselves in the allotment / kitchen garden of Mr Dick Naafs in the village of Papendrecht; it’s half an hour drive by car from Breda. Less than one kilometre away from the Chemours plant in Dordrecht. (On the other side of the river Beneden Merwerde). Mr. Naafs grows vegetables for his own private consumption. The voiceover asks: “And are you allowed to eat from your allotment / kitchen garden?” Mr. Naafs: “Yes, we do”. And he continues to say: “The official advise is not to eat every day vegetables (and a lot) from your own allotment / kitchen garden. But in the past I did that”.
Some years ago Mr. Naafs was told not to eat too much vegetables form his kitchen garden. Because of the industrial / chemical plant of DuPont and Chemours a few hundred meters away from his kitchen garden. In the (water) stream near his kitchen garden the PFAS content was approximately seven (7) times too high. However in the soil the PFAS content was under the set standard. But Mr. Naafs is in doubt. How can you be sure that the contaminated stream water will not come into your vegetables? Mr. Naafs says: “I do not anymore use water from the stream”. And he continues: “When there is a lot of rain, for instance in the winter, the water comes / floods into my kitchen garden. And that water is also water from the stream. So when it rains (a lot) the water of the stream comes / floods into the soil where the vegetables are grown. So eventually you don’t know how much PFAS will come into your vegetables.
In Dordrecht (The Netherlands) it goes about PFOA and in Zwijndrecht (Belgium, near Antwerp) it goes about PFOS. But both of these substances are PFAS: the forever chemicals. For decades the PFOA in Chemours / Dordrecht was discharged into the air, into the river and into the soil. All was permitted by the Dutch authorities. From 1970-2012 it was PFOA and from 2012-2019 it was GenX. Both substances of very high concern in terms of their impact on the environment and health. But in the meantime PFOA is in high concentrations in the surface water as well as (in a less high concentration) in the soil. This story equals the story of Zwijndrecht (Belgium, near Antwerp).
The problems are the same. Peter Groenendijk, a journalist, says that a lot of soil / ground could not be transported because of the high PFAS content of the soil / ground. As a result four communities (Dordrecht, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht and Molenlanden) have turned into a legal battle to hold liable DuPont and Chemours for the negative impact on the (local/regional) environment. The costs of measures and financial compensation for the damage suffered should be recovered in accordance with the polluter pays principle. Mr. Groenendijk continues: “The company Chemours knew more about the negative impact of these substances than the authorities. Chemours states that the industrial plant/ the company always complied with the rules / the license. But because Chemours and DuPont knew more than the (Dutch) authorities. Now the authorities state that DuPont / Chemours should be held responsible, because they knew more.
And the Chemours company did not tell the Dutch authorities that the negative effects of the PFOA and later GenX pollution on the environment was greater than officially known. The law suit will be about this central question. If Chemours / DuPont knew better these substances of very high concern in terms of their impact on the environment and health than the Dutch authorities and what could be the negative impact on the environment, they should have told that and not kept this information hidden / secret.
Mr. Naafs says that when it became clear that the problems with the pollution were far more greater than expected before, Chemours paid for two blue water tanks on the place of the kitchen garden. The blue rain tons are a simple solution. But it is nog a sustainable solution. Mr. Naafs concludes: “It’s my opinion indeed that this problem should be solved. The pollution is eighty (80) times higher than the (new) official norm. Some people say this is not realistic. But then I reply to them that it has nothing to do with being realistic to solve this problem, it has only to do with money!”
PFOA in het drinkwater (en in de lucht)
Het RIVM schrijft op zijn website onder andere dat het drinkwaterbedrijf (OASEN) verantwoordelijk is voor de kwaliteit van het drinkwater zoals geregeld in de Drinkwaterwet. De Raad van commissarissen van een drinkwaterbedrijf bestaat uit bestuurders van provincies en gemeenten. De lozing van ‘PFOA’ heeft plaats gevonden van begin tot eind van de gebruikte productiemethode van 1970-2012 (Oasen rapport 2016). Er is in 1994 een vergunning afgegeven met een maximum toegestane lozing van 45.000 kg/jaar. ‘PFOA’ blijft in lage en afnemende concentraties tot 2030 in het drinkwater aanwezig.
'GenX' als opvolger van ‘PFOA’
Uit onderzoek van Oasen In 2016 Is geconstateerd dat de stof ‘FRD-903' ('GenX') aanwezig is in het (oever)grondwater dat wordt opgepompt ten behoeve van de zuivering tot drinkwater. Tevens bleek uit onderzoek dat dit effluent afkomstig was van de fabrieken van Chemours in Dordrecht. Deze stof wordt door Chemours sinds 2013 op de rivier geloosd. Oasen stelt in zijn brief het volgende: “Zoals (…) aan de orde komt, bestaat alle reden om ‘FRD-903’ als vergelijkbaar schadelijk te beschouwen als ‘PFOA’ en de lozing strikt te normeren”.
- Berekening van het aantal kilogram van geloosde PFAS (schatting).
- Calculation of the number of kilograms of PFAS discharged (estimation).
|total pfas emission||859200|