CD&V wants clear communication about PFAS contamination

A number of sites in Heuvelland have been identified by the Flemish government as having an “increased risk of PFAS contamination”. Meanwhile, measurements were made for two of the three fire brigade locations. CD & V Heuvelland is upset with the mayor’s behavior.

Potentially carcinogenic PFAS was used in fire extinguishing foam for the fire service.

Therefore, there is an increased risk of contamination at fire stations in Westwater, Kimmel and New York. “Claribut potatoes are also a danger zone due to the intense fires from the past,” says council member Nathan Dehyon.

Pending further investigation, local residents are now being asked not to drink groundwater, to limit the use of vegetables and fruits from their own garden, not to give children under 12 years of age and not to use their chicken eggs. In addition, children are not allowed to play on unpaved areas in the designated areas, and paved areas should be rinsed weekly with water.”


PFAS are substances that are not immediately harmful, but accumulate in the body for a long time after ingestion. Mayor Willand de Meyer on behalf of Heuvelland talks about the historical pollution.

“Since 2002, the use of the indicated fire fighting foam has been restricted and completely banned since 2011. If we are talking about pollution, we have to go back in time even further.”

It is not currently clear what exactly is expected of the locals. “We have questions about that. We also asked these questions in the city council. In order to ensure the health of residents, we are asking for clear information and good communication from municipal authorities for people who live near the areas,” says Nathan Dhyon (CD&V).

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The city council will not communicate yet

In addition, Eksternest, Bosgeus and part of the primary school in Nieuwkerke are located in the designated area. Since so many children and young people visit there, we certainly expect extra efforts to get the actions right, for example around playing on unpaved ground.”

CD&V Heuvelland doesn’t like the fact that Heuvelland’s municipal council won’t be in touch yet. “It is surprising to hear that the municipal council has consciously chosen, against the advice of the Flemish government, not to inform the population at the present time by means of a letter or an informational moment. Health must come before everything else. Neighboring municipalities such as Poperinge are aware of this and will send to all concerned residents. A letter containing information about the proceedings.


Megan Vasquez

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