ANDERLECHT (Brussels Morning) – PFAS pollution has been detected in the Tweestationsstraat in Anderlecht. The construction of 96 public homes has therefore been halted until further notice. It is not yet clear where the pollutants come from. The yard in Anderlecht is part of the Citygate urban renewal operation.
The editors at Bruzz have heard of this and the public real estate company Citydev confirms this. It is currently building 96 conventional homes on a site between Goods Street, Tweestationsstraat and the railway. There will also be a new municipal crèche for Anderlecht and a lot of office and commercial space. The project is part of Citygate, a large-scale renewal project in the area.
The yard has now been shut down until further notice. “We were informed a few weeks ago that PFAS had been detected at the yard. It concerns small quantities,” said Citydev spokesperson Cynthia Troch this Thursday. It is not yet known where the substances come from. “Further analysis is ongoing.”
PFAS is a collective name for chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment. Examples of PFAS are the substances PFOS and PFOA. These are used, for example, for non-stick coatings in pans or for fire extinguishing foam. PFAS can harm health and the environment. They are not or hardly degradable in nature, not even in the blood. It is not yet known which exact substance is involved in Anderlecht. There used to be a few car dealers active in the vicinity of the site along with a pharmaceutical company.
Part of the terrain
Project developer Kairos says that so far only PFAS have been discovered in a small area of the site. “It concerns the part along Tweestationsstraat,” says project manager Roan Van Boeckel of Kairos. “We were informed a few weeks ago that small amounts of PFAS were found in the soil samples. Not in the samples from the rest of the site for the time being, but we have now been ordered to do more extensive soil investigations.”
Van Boeckel cannot say exactly how much PFAS was found in the samples. “We won’t know the results until the next few days.”
Additional samples will also be taken from soil that was previously removed from the site, says Van Boeckel. That soil is now located in the Suez soil remediation centre in Grimbergen. To be clear, the soil in which PFAS was found has not been removed.
New city district
Work on the site started in September. Citydev would like to deliver all homes by September 2023. It is not clear what the PFAS discovery means for the calendar. “In the best case scenario, it will remain with the pollution in that separate zone,” says Van Boeckel. “If PFAS is still discovered in other places, we will continue to consider it.”
Kairos himself has only been appointed for the development of this yard in Goods Street. Within Citygate I, the first part of the Citygate urban development project, there is currently one other construction site in Groendalstraat. Owner Citydev cannot yet confirm whether additional soil investigations are now required. A third site, in the Docteur Kubornstraat, has already been completed. The subsequent Citygate II project is still in the study phase. Studio CityGate is now housed on those grounds and Circle Park took place last summer.
The municipality of Anderlecht could not respond yet.