High profile lawyer Gerard Spong has made a formal complaint against gas extraction company NAM, saying he holds it responsible for deliberately damaging houses and other property in Groningen province.
NAM, a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, is in charge of extracting natural gas from large reserves under the province. Thousands of buildings have been damaged in earthquakes caused by the ground settling after the gas has been removed.
‘NAM has continued to drill in Groningen even though it is well aware of the risks, and has put dozens of lives in danger,’ Spong said. ‘This is a scandal, and the criminal courts should have their say.’
Various scientific reports show that the drilling is not only causing material damage but presents a real risk to people living in the province, Spong said. He is representing several private individuals and the lobby group Groninger Bodem Beweging.
A criminal investigation is necessary because the state has a duty to protect its citizens against danger and injury, the lawyer said.
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