Agreement concluded between the Flemish government and 3M Belgium to support the inhabitants of Flanders

ST. PAUL, Minnesota., July 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Flemish government and 3M Belgium announced plans for 3M Belgium to invest a total of more than 571 million euros for the benefit of the inhabitants of Flanders and also to carry out certain corrective actions related to the previously agreed PFAS. This agreement resolves in a cooperative manner the ongoing disagreements between the Flemish government and 3M Belgium.

“For the Flemish government, the health of our fellow citizens and the protection of the environment come first”, said Flemish Minister for the Environment Zuhal Demir. “We expect every entrepreneur and company to assume their responsibility to act accordingly. This agreement is the result of an intense process over months during which 3M Belgium taken action and financial accountability to our community. It is no secret that Flanders counted on this as a clear signal to the Flemish people and as a sign of respect. With this agreement, we can get things done in the best interests of the people of Zwijndrecht, our local farmers, and our overall prosperity and well-being. Not only in the direct vicinity of the factory, but also within the urban community of Zwijndrecht and the construction site of the Oosterweel project, without ever letting the health of our fellow citizens be an issue during negotiations. Flanders has a strong ambition to be a region where entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with concern and love for the community and our environment.”

“This agreement is a major step forward for the people of Flanders, as well as for our operations in Zwijndrecht and our ability to serve our customers. It also reflects 3M’s continued stewardship journey as a responsible manufacturer and our willingness to engage with the communities where we live and work to chart a positive course for the future,” said Jean BanovetsExecutive Vice-President, Technical and Environmental Responsibility Director, 3M Company. “We greatly appreciate the Ministry’s collaboration in reaching this agreement, which builds on the commitments we have made previously and will fully meet to carry out PFAS-related corrective actions and provide other support to the Flemish region. . We have already taken significant steps to reduce PFAS. discharges and emissions. These actions allowed us to restart operations on the site. Through this agreement, we will address the priorities identified by the government to support the needs of the citizens of Zwijndrecht, lay the foundations for future security in 3M Belgium operations and deal with potential future liabilities. »

3M Belgium the total commitment of €571 million includes previous and new commitments, as shown below:

Previous commitments of 3M Belgium

115 million euros

Implement state-of-the-art PFAS treatment technology at the Zwijndrecht site

5 million euros

Support eligible local farmers

New 3M Belgium
Commitments

250 million euros

Engage in identified priority corrective actions (including €150 million previously announced in March 2022) and can be used to support additional actions as required by the Flemish Soil Decree

100 million euros

Provide funds for use by the Flemish government at its sole discretion in connection with PFAS emissions from the 3M Belgium facility

100 million euros

Support the Oosterweel project with up to €100 million in funding and support services

€1.3 million

Waive 3M Belgium’s right to approximately 1.3 million euros in government subsidies

Total commitment of 3M Belgium

€571 million

Address Legacy Manufacturing

As indicated, under the terms negotiated by the Flemish government and 3M Belgium, 3M Belgium will commit 250 million euros for priority corrective actions identified by the government for the benefit of the inhabitants of Zwijndrecht, in particular:

  • Remediation of contaminated soils in residential areas (gardens) near 3M Belgium installation of Zwijndrecht and the functional restoration of the gardens,
  • Reduction of the flow of contaminated groundwater in the Palingbeek,
  • Prevention of future wind dispersal of soil or dust potentially containing PFAS through a comprehensive dust control plan, and
  • Remediation of agricultural and recreational lands near the facility.

Pay additional costs associated with PFAS releases

The agreement requires 3M Belgium to pay 100 million Euros to the Flemish government to be used at the sole discretion of the government in relation to any PFAS released from the 3M Belgium ease. These funds may be used for the benefit of government entities other than those that are parties to the agreement.

Help facilitate the Oosterweel project

3M Belgium will provide €50 million in financial support and up to €50 million in support services to help Lantis and facilitate the Oosterweel project.

Additional actions to the extent required

The 3M commitments are based on true estimates by OVAM experts. Moreover, under the agreement 3M Belgium agreed to support additional actions to the extent required by the Flemish Soil Decree, if necessary.

Improve information sharing and transparency

3M Belgium will need to take additional steps to transparently share information with the public about its operations and how the company is fully discharging its responsibilities under the agreement. These include:

  • Improve and update its publicly accessible websites to help people learn more about its operations in Zwijndrecht and around the world, the science of PFAS and more, all in consultation with the Flemish government. 3M Belgium will provide updates on ongoing descriptive soil surveys, corrective action plans, and other reports related to the management of PFAS from traditional manufacturing.
  • Organize regular public meetings in the municipality of Zwijndrecht to provide citizens of the region with updates on corrective measures and answer their questions on a wide range of problems. These will take place at least quarterly for the first year and will provide citizens with a useful opportunity to learn how 3M Belgium respects its commitments.
  • These information sharing requirements will continue for at least 10 years and may be extended with the agreement of the parties.

The agreement also contains certain provisions ending ongoing litigation and provides certain releases of liability for 3M while recognizing that the government retains its authority to act in the future to protect citizens.

3M expects to record a charge in the second quarter of 2022 associated with these actions and reflect it as an adjustment to earnings, adjusted for special items.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking information about 3M’s financial results, estimates and business prospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as “anticipate”, “estimate”, “expect”, “aim”, “project”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”. “, “will”, “should”, “could”, “target”, “expect” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance or plans or prospects for Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: (1) economic, political, regulatory, global financial markets and other external conditions and other factors beyond the control of the Company, including natural and other disasters or climate change affecting the operations of the Company or its customers and suppliers; (2) risks related to public health crises such as the global pandemic associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19); (3) foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in such rates; (4) liabilities related to certain fluorinated chemicals, including lawsuits regarding various products and chemicals related to PFAS, and claims and government regulatory proceedings and investigations related to PFAS in various jurisdictions; (5) legal proceedings, including material developments that may arise in legal and regulatory proceedings described in the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, and any subsequent quarterly report on Form 10-Q (the “Reports”); (6) competitive conditions and customer preferences; (7) timing and market acceptance of new product offerings; (8) the availability and cost of purchased components, compounds, raw materials, labor and energy (including petroleum and natural gas and their derivatives) due to shortages, increased demand and wages, logistics, manufacturing site disruptions or supply chain interruptions (including those caused by natural and other disasters and other events); (9) unforeseen problems or delays in the gradual implementation of a global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or security breaches and other disruptions to the Company’s IT infrastructure; (10) the impact of acquisitions, strategic alliances, divestitures and other unusual events resulting from changing portfolio management actions and other business strategies, and possible organizational restructuring; (11) operational execution, including scenarios where the Company generates fewer productivity improvements than expected; (12) financial market risks that may affect the Company’s funding obligations under defined benefit pension and post-retirement plans; (13) the Company’s credit ratings and its cost of capital; and (14) external tax-related conditions, including changes in tax rates, laws or regulations. Changes in these assumptions or factors could produce materially different results. A more detailed description of these factors can be found in the reports under “Cautionary Note Regarding Factors That Could Affect Future Results” and “Risk Factors” in Part I, Items 1 and 1A (Annual Report) and in the part I, element 2 and part II. , Item 1A (Quarterly Reports), as updated by current applicable reports on Form 8-K. The information contained in this press release is as of the date indicated. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information or future events or developments.

THE SOURCE 3M

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