Civil engineering companies have many problems because the toxic PFAS is in many places in the soil. The cabinet wants to protect health and the environment, but also wants to ensure that projects can proceed as quickly as possible. State Secretary Van Veldhoven is taking a new step in tackling the PFAS problem today. She requests the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to draw up a temporary, national background value for PFAS in the (land) soil on the basis of recent measurements.
For example, the 0.1 limit that currently applies as a precaution based on the law in some places can be extended to this national background value. This gives companies more room to move soil, without endangering health or the environment. Van Veldhoven wants the broader standard to take effect no later than 1 December.
“We cannot get PFAS out of the ground, but we can also do a lot. We need to get off the 0.1 line as quickly as possible, within the safe space that is there. This is possible due to a national background value. I urgently asked RIVM for this. I make every effort to ensure that construction suffers as little as possible, ”says Van Veldhoven.
The RIVM has been asked to investigate urgently whether, where 0,1 micrograms is now the limit based on the law, whether there is more safe space based on available background values. Van Veldhoven: “The government cannot determine whether there is a safe space, companies cannot determine that. This must be based on independent scientific research. But if that space is available, it should be used to the maximum and as quickly as possible. ” Van Veldhoven previously established the temporary action framework PFAS at the request of municipalities and provinces to give companies as much space as possible to continue to move land.
In addition to the request to RIVM whether an extension of the 0.1 limit is possible, State Secretary Van Veldhoven has set up a task force. In the task force, companies and governments will work together for at least one year on solutions to cross-region bottlenecks. The task force is led by former top official Hans van der Vlist. Work conferences are also organized by the country to look at the obstacles and how to remove them for concrete projects in the region. This can only be done together with municipalities, provinces, water boards and companies.
Bottom Help Desk
There is still a lot of uncertainty about what can and cannot be done with soil containing PFAS. The bottom help desk is available for more information to remove any ambiguities. People with specific questions about moving soil in relation to PFAS can contact the soil help desk, which can be found at www.bottomplus.nl.
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