Dow Chemical in court for breaking Dutch environmental rules
Friday 20 July 2012
The public prosecution department is taking legal action against chemicals giant Dow Chemical in Terneuzen for repeatedly breaking environmental laws, Nos reports on Friday.
The broadcaster says the company is suspected of numerous infringements of the law which put both staff and the surrounding area at risk between 2005 and 2008.
The department has investigated a number of incidents in which poisonous substances have been released into the atmosphere, Nos says. According to inspectors from Zeeland provincial council, there have been a large number of ‘very serious incidents’, due to ‘shortcomings in maintenance’.
A public prosecution spokeswoman said the case is extremely complex, which is why the investigation has taken so long. However, there is enough evidence that Dow has deliberately ignored environmental rules, she told Nos.
A spokeswoman for the company confirmed the case will begin in January 2013 at Breda district court but declined to comment further.
The Terneuzen complex is Zeeland’s biggest employer with 18 separate plants and a workforce of 1,700. It is one of Dow Chemical’s biggest operational sites.