Eternal pollutants in large quantities in the water of Gard: a citizen collective appeals to the State

Eternal pollutants in large quantities in the water of Gard: a citizen collective appeals to the State
Eternal pollutants in large quantities in the water of Gard: a citizen collective appeals to the State

The Gardon L’eau santé collective requested a meeting with Gard MP Michel Sala in order to alert him to the presence of significant quantities of TFA in drinking water in the Saint-Théodorit sector.

“We drink this water, we water our vegetable garden with it, and it contains eternal pollutants. People need to know this and elected officials must mobilize!” Member of the citizen collective Gardon L’eau santé, Arnaud Gras met this Friday, May 3, the Gard deputy Michel Sala, accompanied by other representatives of this movement born in Saint-Théodorit and which intends to fight against eternal pollutants in the drinking water from the Gardon.

Concentrations higher than the European standard

The main object of their ire: the result of analyzes carried out by a laboratory approved by the Ministries of Health and the Environment, revealing an abnormally high level of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), at 19 µg/L. This analysis, financed with the help of a Leetchi fund set up by the collective, is not a revelation for Gardon L’eau santé. At the beginning of February, the Générations Futures association raised “worrying PFAS pollution near the Salindres chemical platform in the Gard” through samples taken in ten locations (7 for surface water including one control and 3 for water potable) around the Salindres chemical platform, on which a Solvay group factory is located, in “more or less proximity to industrial discharges and their interest in the local hydrographic network”.

Among the lessons given by the analysis results, Générations futures noted that “TFA is found in the drinking water of 2 towns (Boucoiran and Moussac, on the edge of the Gard) at concentrations of 19 µg/L and 18 µg/L, i.e. concentrations 38 and 36 times higher than a standard European Union applicable to all perfluorochemicals”. “We know that the factory discharges its PFAS into a tributary of the Gardon, and what worries us is that due to the increase in the population, a new catchment is planned in the same place as one of the two current ones , rather than upstream of the tributary which brings this junk into the roach”, sighs Arnaud Gras.

Towards an impact study on populations?

While the National Assembly has just voted, at first reading, a bill aimed at “limit contamination by polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances”Article 2 aims to impose, “by regulatory means, limit values ​​for discharge into the natural environment of PFAS at all installations classified for environmental protection from 1er January 2024. The opportunity, therefore, for the Saint-Théodorit collective, to draw the attention of MP Sala to this problem of the TFA.

The Domessargues Saint-Théodorit union ensures that it is “following the file carefully”

By way of a press release, the Domessargues Saint-Théodorit intercommunal drinking water supply union (SIAEP), which serves twelve municipalities, recalls that “the water distributed is subject to strict and regular controls (with cycles and rules which are informed to us), carried out by a laboratory approved by the Regional Health Agency”. The president, Bernard Clément, adding that “to permanently guarantee the safety of water quality, the number of molecules or substances sought has increased considerably over the years”. If the union ensures “don’t remain insensitive” and ready “great attention” to the presence of these TFA, he emphasizes however that no “regulations do not set a threshold concerning these “pollutants”, which are also found everywhere in the hydrosphere, including in the oceans”. However, if for the SIAEP, “if there were to be a change in standards in the future, they would be properly integrated into the analyses”. But, for now, “there is no reason to alarm users of the SIAEP of Domessargues and Saint-Théodorit.”

“I met the collective this morning, very concerned about what is happening in view of the analyzes carried out on drinking water”, relates the elected official, which announces its intention to request a meeting with the Regional Health Agency (ARS). “We must go further within the framework of the law passed in the Assembly. How are the controls carried out?” asks the deputy. Who wishes to verify that the ARS “take these TFA into account. And if this is not done, let controls be put in place. I would also like a screening campaign to be carried out on volunteers to see the impregnation of the populations”, continues Michel Sala. Who also wants the prefect of Gard to be present at this meeting in order to discuss the discharges from the Solvay factory authorized by decree. To be continued.

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