Residents shocked by revelation of water pollution around Dordrecht chemical plan

Residents living near the controversial Chemours chemical plant in Dordrecht expressed shock following recent revelations of severe water contamination, and will speak with company executives in July. The Dutch television program, Zembla, recently reported that the water in the area is heavily contaminated with substantial amounts of toxic and carcinogenic PFAS. The company has been aware for 30 years that the PFAS variants were harmful.

Following the broadcast, when asked why Chemours never published the water board’s figures, the company responded that it was not their responsibility to do so. When asked about the extremely high concentration of PFOA and GenX in the waters around it, Chemours referred to a 2020 analysis by the RIVM that stated that there were no health risks. “Chemous did not mention that the RIVM used standards for this that are now outdated and have been significantly lowered by the RIVM,” Zembla said.

The neighborhood council of DuPont/Chemours, a group of residents living close to the factory, expressed their shock at Chemours’ response to the broadcast. “Chemours was asked in advance and in a timely manner to respond. In our perspective, they either failed to do so or did it in a manner lacking professionalism, thus further damaging the company’s credibility,” stated the council chair, Bert Kandel. He called the response both frustrating and patronizing.

The Chemours factory in Dordrecht knowingly leached the toxic and carcinogenic PFAS variant PROA into the water and air for decades. It only stopped using the hazardous substance in 2012 when the government strictly regulated it. The chemical plant then replaced PFOA with GenX – a PFAS variant also considered to be a “very worrying substance” by the public health and environment institute RIVM.

The residents will speak with the company’s executives on July 11.

At least five people from Dordrecht and its surrounding areas filed legal complaints against the executives of Chemours. They allege that the company committed criminal contamination posing a threat to public health.

The American company, Chemours, was originally created as a spin-off from DuPont. It was first formed in 2015.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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