Update 20 June 2019
The RIVM report about the air quality around the landfill at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, is available. At the beginning of 2019, the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment measured the air quality around the landfill at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten for two weeks. No or hardly any harmful substances were measured. During the measurement period there were no open fires at the landfill. As a result, the RIVM is unable to assess the potential health risks of substances released in the event of an open fire at the landfill. In order to do so, it is necessary to take measurements during an open fire. The local fire department could perform this task. If requested, the RIVM can support the fire brigade with specialized equipment and knowledge.
Update 7 February 2019
The past two weeks the RIVM team has been taking measurements and samples at various locations around the landfill in Philipsburg. During their stay, the team also spoke with people of the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI), the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA), the Public Health Service and the fire department. RIVM also explained their assignment in an interview with SXMGOV Radio. A broadcast from the Department of Communication under the Ministry of General Affairs will be made available on Youtube .
The landfill is constantly smouldering, but there have been no outbreaks of fires during the presence of RIVM. RIVM has taken gas samples by pumping air over absorption agents, while filters are used to trap any particulate matter. For example, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Volatile Organic Compounds. In addition, RIVM has taken swipe samples. A swipe sample contains dust that has ended up in the vicinity of the landfill.
The team will return to the Netherlands on 8 February 2019. The samples will be transported to the Netherlands. There they will be analysed by specialised laboratories at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the RIKILT research institute in Wageningen and RIVM. Based on the results of these analyses, RIVM will then draw up a risk assessment, which is expected in May/June 2019.
18 december 2018: Letter of the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations to the House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Letter of the State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Relations to the House of Representatives of the Netherlands about the activities and implementation progress of Sint Maarten Trust Fund.
Letter (Dutch only)
1 december 2018: Interim Report April – November 2018: Sint Maarten - Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund
This World Bank report describes the main activities and implementation progress of Sint Maarten Trust Fund activities until end November 2018