Even though our activities themselves cause little or no soil pollution, Elia deals with historical pollution and takes preventive actions.
Historical soil pollution
A lot of high-voltage substations were built in areas with power generation facilities or where heavy industry needed large volumes of electricity. Many of those sites have now disappeared but the high-voltage substation remains. These sites are the starting point for a lot of electricity networks.
Elia is gradually decontaminating the sites with severe historical soil pollution, in accordance with legal provisions. When carrying out soil decontamination work, the strict safety requirements for works near high-voltage facilities also have to be enforced.
Local oil pollution from the past, most of it near transformers, is also cleared up, with the same regard for safety considerations.
Accidental soil pollution
The main risk is posed by transformer oil leaks.
Elia has developed an internal procedure ensuring quick and efficient decontamination. In the event of a major incident, Elia will contact the relevant authorities.
When working on site with substances that risk damaging the soil, both Elia’s own teams and contractors must be suitably equipped to take preventive action.
In most projects involving excavation work, Elia draws up a technical report. This means that an assessment can be made in advance of whether there is soil pollution, what potential costs this may entail, and whether it may cause health risks.
Elia also carries out many soil studies.