The following conclusion is based on the opinion of a Belgian Ex- Prosecutor and Examining Magistrate
Polluter Pays Principle
3M and Lantis made a secret deal that was approved by the Flemish government.
In short: Lantis (public construction company) discovered PFAS pollution on the construction site. They trace back the origin of the PFAS pollution to 3M. Lantis and 3M sign a secret deal (approved by the Flemish Government) so that all the cost to clean up the PFAS pollution would be paid by the Flemish Government and thus the Flemish citizen.
The Flemish Government, 3M and Lantis did not respect the polluter pays principle and could be sent in front of the judge.
The Polluter Pays Principle applies to environmental pollution.
It is internationally recognized and comes from the OECD Recommendation of 1972 and it is one of the 27 principles of the Climate Change Convention concluded at the UN Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The European Directive on environmental liability of April 2004, which deals with the prevention and repair of environmental damage, also laid down this principle in law at European level.
EU Member States had to lay down in their national legislation that an operator who causes environmental damage or creates an imminent threat of such damage should, in principle, bear the costs of the necessary preventive or remedial measures.
Collusion and EU Money
The Flemish Government, 3M and Lantis have colluded to avoid applying the Polluter Pays Principle.
Instead they applied the Citizen Pays principle (tax money was used to clean up the PFAS mess).
And now, the EU joins the dance.
Half of the Oosterweel Traject was funded with EU money.
This means that the European Court of Auditors and Olaf (European Anti Fraud Office) may investigate if fraud or corruption took place in this Belgian 3M PFAS fiasco.
They could potentially decide to stop the EU funding of the Oosterweel traject.
After reading this legal opinion, I start to believe that there must have been corruption involved.
According to the polluter pays principle, 3M had to pay for the cost of decontaminating the soil.
For a reason that we do not know, the Flemish Government agrees to pay the € 63 million bill.
Why would the Flemish Government agrees to that?
In case there was corruption; here are the possible options:
- Assets were given by 3M or 3rd party related to 3M to Flemish politicians of 3rd party related to Flemish politician.
- Assets were given by 3M or 3rd party related to 3M to people at Lantis or 3rd party related to people at Lantis
- Or maybe, the cash cow is related to the decontamination of the PFAS soil … the organisation(s) who received the €63 million and more to decontaminate the soil. Maybe, they played the corruption carrousel
Anyway, as usual … politicians will always get away with it.