December 7, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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New PFOS discharge standards for 3M are on the table, but 3M already considers them 'unachievable' |  interior

New PFOS discharge standards for 3M are on the table, but 3M already considers them ‘unachievable’ | interior

This Thursday, the province of Antwerp will decide on the new discharge criteria for 3M. The standards that are now on the table are much stricter. So strict that 3M actually considers it “useless”. There is a good chance that the chemical company will resume.

Thursday will be an exciting day for 3M. Then the Antwerp delegate decided on the chemical company’s new discharge standards. It is already clear that they are going to get tougher. After all, the advice of the Regional Environmental Licensing Commission (POVC) was announced today. This committee provides advice to the delegation, which is usually followed. The advice isn’t surprising: Like other companies, the advice suggests a PFOS discharge standard of 1 mcg per liter instead of 30 mcg. Other PFAS substances must also be significantly reduced. The most striking are the materials PFBA and PFBS. Of this, 3M is now allowed to discharge 5,000 and 3,700 mcg per liter respectively into the Scheldt. In the new statement, that would be barely 20 micrograms.

“Not quite possible,” says 3M in POVC advice. The same company states that purifying sewage from 5,000 to 500 micrograms is unrealistic, let alone 20 micrograms, as the advice suggests. These stricter discharge standards are also not necessary, according to 3M. In the advice it also says that draining 1,400 micrograms of PFBA per liter “has no negative effect” on the water in the Scheldt. So the company sees absolutely no reason to purify the water down to 20 micrograms.

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Therefore, it is also expected that, if the advice is adopted on Thursday by the Antwerp delegate, the chemical company will resume almost immediately.

See also: In September Demir sent debt preparers to 3M