On September 14, 2007 the Flemish government recognized VLABOTEX npo for a period of 30 years as a soil remediation organisation for the dry cleaning sector in Flanders.
To stimulate the management of existing soil contamination and to prevent new soil contamination in the future on dry cleaning sites, the Flemish Government has created a new tool: an individual contamination prevention and contamination management plan. Each operator of a dry cleaner has to submit yearly an individual contamination prevention and contamination management plan to OVAM. The operator may, in order to comply with this obligation, contract VLABOTEX. For all the operators who contracted VLABOTEX, VLABOTEX has to submit yearly a sectoral contamination prevention and contamination management plan to OVAM.
VLABOTEX should also stimulate the research of innovative techniques for investigation and remediaton and advise the dry cleaning sector in order to prevent soil pollution.
Owners of a site where a dry cleaner was operating in the past as well as (former) operators of a dry cleaner can now submit an application with VLABOTEX. After acceptance, VLABOTEX shall carry out the investigation and remediation of the contamination with parameters related to dry cleaning products and created before October 1995, the so-called historical contamination. For this purpose, the applicant is obliged to a fixed yearly contribution.
The cost for the investigation and remediation of pollution related to dry cleaning products and created after October 1995, the so-called new soil contamination, and the pollution with contaminants not related to dry cleaning products are fully paid by the applicant.
As financial support for the soil investigation and remediation, the Flemish government provides a yearly subsidy, which equals the total yearly contribution by the applicants for the historic pollution with dry cleaning products.
Because of the limited financial resources, VLABOTEX has to spread the soil remediations over a period of 30 years. For this purpose VLABOTEX must yearly submit the remediation program for the next year for approval by the OVAM This remediation program includes all the sites where the soil investigation and remediation will be started up in that particular year. A priority index composed by environmental and socio-economic aspects is used to determinate the succession of the soil investigations and remediations.
In cooperation with VLABOTEX and the VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research - Belgium) the OVAM has also elaborated a specific guideline to carry out the investigation and remediaton of soil contamination on (former) dry cleaner sites.