Over 1,400 people who live close to the Tata steelworks in IJmuiden have signed up for a mass claim against the company, saying they are facing problems because of pollution, noise, poor air quality and smell.
Tata Steel has said it first wants to study the foundation’s letter before commenting in detail, but points out it has taken a number of steps already to reduce pollution and other nuisance caused by the plant.
In March, public health institute RIVM said locals living in the vicinity of the steel works are still being exposed to dust containing high concentrations of carcinogenic substances, with children in Wijk aan Zee most at risk.
High levels of polycarbon-based pollutants and metals, including lead, have once again been found in coarse dust particles deposited in Beverwijk, Velsen-Noord and IJmuiden, and particularly in Wijk aan Zee, the latest of two probes carried by the the public health institute in 2022 showed.
The public prosecution department has already launched a criminal investigation into Tata Steel for deliberately polluting the soil, air and surface water. The results of that investigation, which followed a complaint brought by lawyers on behalf of 800 locals and a number of interest groups, are due later this year.
Personal injury lawyer and foundation director John Beer said that there is enough proof Tata Steel is responsible for pollution. “We are about showing that these emissions have undesirable consequences for the surroundings,” he told broadcaster NOS. “And that, we think, is extremely likely.”
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