The RIVM report on Tata Steel published today confirms what the residents of the village of Wijk aan Zee already knew: living here can seriously damage their health. Some residents think all the commotion is a bit exaggerated, as became apparent today after a tour through the village. “If you really don’t want to get any substances, you should live in Friesland.”
The RIVM published a long-awaited report yesterday report. This showed that residents from Wijk aan Zee, among others, live an average of two and a half months shorter due to the current emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide from Tata Steel. In addition, there would be a greater risk of diseases such as cancer and asthma.
The report is a document that, for the first time, provides a complete and concrete overview of the influence Tata Steel has on the health of its neighbors. Residents of Wijk aan Zee reacted twice today to the publication. On the one hand, they believe that something really needs to be done now, but on the other hand, the region also needs the company. For example, a neighborhood tells Zeeër: “Some people are going a bit crazy in our village.”
There are also reactions from (regional) politics. For example, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, who also commissioned the study, Vivianne Heijnen, calls the RIVM findings ‘serious’. She finds the current situation unacceptable and demands improvement.
Beverwijk councilor Brigitte van den Berg speaks on behalf of all municipalities in the IJmond, and sees reason in the report to really curb the harmful emissions from the blast furnaces. See in this video the responses of the State Secretary and Alderman.
Yet most residents of Wijk aan Zee react somewhat cynically. For example, one man jokes: “Whether you live to be 85 or 85 and two and a half months: it doesn’t really matter to me.”