Chapter XII.
Sediments


section I.
Water bottom examination


Subsection I.
Obligation to conduct an water bottom examination


Article 124.

1.

The Flemish Government indicates the water bottoms on which the manager must conduct a water bottom examination within a certain period on his own initiative and at his own expense.

2.

A water bottom examination can be performed by someone else than the manager of the water bottom.


Subsection II.
Purpose, content and procedure


Article 125.

1.

A water bottom examination has the purpose of establishing if serious soil contamination exists near the water bottom. It aims to provide a description of the nature, quantity, concentration, origin and extent of polluting substances or organisms, the possibility of the dispersion of these substances or organisms, and the danger of exposure to people, plants, animals and groundwater and surface water.

In addition, a water bottom examination can include data concerning the assessment of the danger of the exposure of the soil contamination to people, plants, animals and groundwater and surface water with a potential other use.

2.

A water bottom examination consists of a historical examination and the sampling of the water bottom and soils that can be contaminated as a result of the spreading of the contamination of the water bottom or the surface water.

3.

A water bottom examination is conducted under the supervision of a land remediation expert in conformity with the standard procedure drawn up by the Flemish Government. In the absence of such a standard procedure, a water bottom examination is conducted according to a code of good practice.

4.

A water bottom examination can be carried out in phase in the cases and in accordance with the conditions determined in the standard procedure mentioned in 3.


Subsection III.
Declaration of conformity of the water bottom examination


Article 126.

1.

Within a period of ninety days of receipt of the report of the water bottom examination, the OVAM makes a decision about the conformity of the examination with the provisions of this section, and issues a conformity certificate or imposes supplementary examination activities.

2.

The Flemish Government establishes more specific regulations concerning the notification and the declaration of conformity of the water bottom examination and the content and the notification of the conformity certificate.


Subsection IV.
Severity of the soil contamination


Article 127. At the time of the declaration of conformity of the water bottom examination, the OVAM assesses if there is a case of serious soil contamination.

Subsection V.
Administrative appeal


Article 128. All parties involved can appeal against the decisions of the OVAM mentioned in articles 126 and 127 to the Flemish Government in accordance with the provisions of article 153 up to and including 155.

Subsection VI.
Ex-officio water bottom examination


Article 129. Without prejudice to the competence of the environmental inspectors in compliance with other laws or decrees, the Flemish Government can require the OVAM to ex-officio conduct a water bottom examination.

Section II.
Remediation obligation


Subsection I.
Remediation criterion


Article 130.

1.

Soil remediation is proceeded with if the water bottom examination demonstrates the presence of serious soil contamination.

2.

The Government of Flanders designates those sediments with severe soil contamination, as well as the lands that are contaminated as a result of the spread of the contamination from the sediment or the surface water, where soil remediation must be a priority. The Government of Flanders can base itself on the floodplains management plans, as stated in the Decree of 18 July 2003 relating to integral water policy, for the determination of the priorities.


Subsection II.
Remediation objective


Article 131. The provisions of article 21 are accordingly applicable.

Subsection III.
Designation of the liable party for carrying out and (pre-) financing the soil remediation


Article 132.

1.

The obligation to carry out the soil remediation for the soil contamination, stated in Article 130, 2, lies with the manager of the sediment and the costs for this are to be borne by the same. In deviation from this, the remediation obligation for the contamination of the sediment for which it can be proven on which land it occurred lies with the person stated in Article 22.

2.

The persons stated in 1 can recover the costs for the soil remediation from the persons who, in accordance with Article 25, are liable and they can also claim an advance payment from this party liable for the remediation or demand that this party provides a financial guarantee.

3.

The soil remediation can be carried out by a person other than the persons who are obligated to carry out remediation works stated in 1.


Subsection IV.
Exemption from the decontamination obligation


Article 133. The provisions of article 23 are accordingly applicable.

Subsection V.
Responsibility


Article 134. The provisions of article 25 are accordingly applicable.

Section III.
Soil remediation


Article 135.

The provisions of Chapter V and Chapter VI are accordingly applicable to the soil remediation of sediments, with the exception of [...] the provisions stipulated pursuant to Articles 48, 51 58, 2, and 66, insofar as the remediation works take place within a strip starting at the upper edge of the bank of the body of surface water up to five meters inland.