Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) is once again gearing up in her fight against 3M.
Today bailiffs were sent to 3M Belgium, the head office in the United States and to the individual directors.
Demir wants to force the chemical giant to finally take responsibility for the historical pollution.
By October 1, 3M must come over the bridge.
If not, Demir is considering suing the company for accidental assault and battery.
At 6 pm tonight, bailiffs left with a formal notice of default for the headquarters of 3M Belgium, the factory in Zwijndrecht and to the addresses of five directors of the company.
At the same time, the same is happening in the United States: bailiffs also visit the head office in Minnesota and more than ten directors.
They also include 3M CEO Michael Roman and Vice President Rebecca Teeters.
Demir has never hidden that she thinks 3M should pay for the remediation.
But 3M is also being held responsible for “withholding information, minimizing risk, and hindering or delaying regulatory initiatives.”
In the notice of default, Demir also points to “the untreated discharge of rainwater contaminated with PFOS, exceeding the PFOS standard and the discharge of other dangerous PFAS into the wastewater.”
We demand 3M to take responsibility for cleaning up its pollution.
If 3M is unable to provide a conclusive response by October 1, Demir is considering sending a subpoena and suing the company, and its individual directors.
According to Demir, there are various options for this. In addition to being charged with environmental crimes, 3M Belgium could also be prosecuted for unintentional assault and battery, Demir believes.
Is it election time in Flanders or Belgium? No, i’ve checked; and the next election are in 2024.
Minister Demir has to maintain the reputation of her political party NVA because it was her colleague Ben Weyts that signed a secret deal with 3M.