Pierre Benite. City Hall reinforces perfluorinated controls

On 20 May, the Rhône municipality signed two decrees aimed at strengthening controls over the waters of the Rhône, within accelerated deadlines, mainly around the Arkema and Daikin factories. The latter will be the object of a complaint from Our business for all.

On 12 May, the Special Envoy revealed the alarming results of analyzes revealing the unusually high presence of perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) in the air, water and soil of Pierre Bénite, south of Lyon. These components are called “eternal” because they do not degrade over time.

Also read in the Tribune de Lyon: Pierre-Bénite. Metropolis alarmed by perfluorinated pollution

The factories of Arkema, a French chemical group specializing in performance materials, and Daikin, a Japanese company in the HVAC market specializing in refrigeration systems, are particularly highlighted.

Express measures of the prefecture

Faced with the growing concern of the villagers, to whom the report was presented before the transmission to the general public, the local authorities took some measures quickly. The stadium, where samples were taken with worrying results, was closed on May 13 by the city hall. This closure was suggested by professor at the Free University of Amsterdam Jacob de Boer, at the origin of the dangerous fees, who recommended “the closure and sanitation of certain areas such as the stadium and better cleaning of drinking water”.

In turn, the mayor of the Rhône Pascal Mailhos confirmed the abnormal presence of pollutants from 13 May. On May 20, the state deputy signed two orders to monitor PFAS in the Arkema and Daikin production processes, and their liquid releases. Reports will be sent periodically to the inspection of classified installations to allow an objective assessment of the situation.

In parallel with these measures, the Regional Directorate for the Environment, Planning and Housing (DREAL) and approved laboratories were mobilized to carry out random inspections of the waters of the Rhône and the Pierre-Bénite industrial platform.

delayed national legislation

Despite the very high rate of PFAS detected, the prefecture defends itself from any negligence by explaining that this level is not yet regulated in France. In his press release published on May 25 on the monitoring of PFAS, the mayor of the Rhône describes that these substances, which are almost eternal and harmful to the environment and health, will be integrated into the sanitary analysis of drinking water. of a European directive, by 2026.

Also read in the Tribune de Lyon: In photos. The Arkema factory, at the center of the scandal in Pierre-Bénite

As a precaution, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Health Agency (ARS) will implement PFAS monitoring in raw, treated and distributed water, until the summer of 2022, for the water supply of the Grigny and Ternay basins. The results must be published on an official city hall website.

Notre Affaire à Tous sues

This heightened vigilance is not the only reaction to the very high presence of perfluorinated compounds. The Lyon branch of the Notre Affaire à Tous association, at the origin of the trial of the century, has taken on the Arkema and Daikin scandal in the chemical valley and will request an emergency procedure.

With the Kaizen Avocat office, the association will file on June 1st an unprecedented environmental summary action before the criminal judge, against the two companies, for having violated the environmental law and exceeded the authorized pollution limits.

To alert public authorities to this sanitary and environmental scandal and to ask for an accelerated transcription of the European directive on the control of PFAS, the association Bien Vivre in Pierre-Bénite, as well as several mothers whose breast milk was contaminated with PFAS , joined the action. .

Marion Lescuyer

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