Market: Pollution of the Scheldt: Tereos sentenced to pay more than 9 million euros
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PARIS (Reuters) – French sugar and ethanol maker Tereos was ordered on Thursday to pay more than 9.5 million euros for polluting the Scheldt in 2020, causing the death of thousands of fish in France and Belgium, the group said.

A leak was discovered in April 2020 in a 100,000 cubic meter settling tank at the Tereos factory in Escaudoeuvres in northern France, which led to the spillage of wastewater into a tributary of the Scheldt.

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“We have our share of responsibility as a company but we regret that the court did not take into account the fact that there was a multitude of causalities and responsibilities”, declared a spokeswoman for Tereos to Reuters.

Authorities in the Belgian region of Wallonia estimated that the pollution had caused the death of 50 to 70 tonnes of fish along a 36 km stretch on the Belgian part of the Scheldt and also accused the French authorities of being too slow to activate the alert process between the two countries.

Around 13 tonnes of dead fish were also found on the French side of the border.

The Lille criminal court imposed a fine of 500,000 euros and more than 9 million euros in damages, of which nearly 9 million will be paid to Wallonia, said the spokeswoman for Tereos, adding that the group n He had not yet decided whether he would appeal the decision.

(Sybille report from La Hamaide, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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