National symposium on PFAS Action Framework

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On Monday 25 June 2018, the municipal authority of Dordrecht and the PFAS Expertise Centre are organising a symposium on the PFAS Action Framework. The symposium is to be held at the venue called Duurzaamheidsfabriek (‘Sustainability Factory’). The PFAS Expertise Centre is a joint initiative of Witteveen+Bos, TTE Consultants and Arcadis.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of substances that include PFOS, PFOA, and GenX. At the request of Dordrecht municipal authority the PFAS Expertise Centre has drawn up an action framework for how to deal with these so-called “emerging substances” in the soil. The framework describes the practical actions to be taken in handling these substances in the soil and groundwater. It was developed in collaboration with a great number of public bodies and partly thanks to a financial contribution from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. During the symposium the action framework will be presented and offered to Rik van der Linden, Dordrecht’s alderman for environmental affairs.

Growing problem
The available knowledge on PFAS is currently quite limited. For this reason, the PFAS Expertise Centre was set up in 2012, at the initiative of Witteveen+Bos, TTE Consultants and Arcadis. They had observed that substances like PFOA and PFOS were posing increasing problems for the environment. These two substances are part of a comprehensive group of substances referred to as PFAS, which includes over 6,000 substances that are considered harmful for the soil and water systems based on scientific research.

Knowledge sharing
The PFAS Expertise Centre was set up to promote the exchange of knowledge and information about these substances. This concerns technical knowledge (how to conduct research, what fieldwork to perform and which analysis methods to use, etc.), toxicological knowledge, legal and policy-related knowledge, and knowledge of potential remediation techniques or other types of solutions. The PFAS Action Framework and the symposium are intended to promote knowledge sharing. There is a clear demand, as over 200 people from all over the Netherlands have already registered for the event.

Healthy living environment
Alderman Rik van der Linden: ‘As part of our efforts concerning the Chemours dossier, Dordrecht municipal authority not only aims to reduce emissions of harmful substances as much as we can, but also wants to build knowledge about such substances and, where necessary, about how to address the consequences of their release. We do this with a view to creating a healthy living environment for our residents, and to prevent these types of situations from arising in the future. Our involvement in the PFAS Expertise Centre fits in perfectly with this.’