Tuesday 11 May 2021

Tata Steel under fire over graphite rain, may face prosecution

The Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden. Photo: Depositphotos.com

IJmuiden steel maker Tata Steel may be facing prosecution for breaking its environmental permits, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday, following a report in the Volkskrant newspaper.

The company is under fire for not doing enough to stop so-called graphite rain showering people living in the nearby town of Wijk aan Zee, which can pose a risk to health.

Tata’s permit states that emissions created by producing steel should not be released into the atmosphere but the graphite dust was still reaching homes and gardens up to the opening of a new production shed in May this year, the paper said.

The Dutch public health institute RIVM said last year that graphite rain contains heavy metals and PAHs. The levels of lead, manganese and vanadium dust in particular are ‘undesirably high’ for young children, the agency said.

Tata Steel said it had not yet been notified of any legal proceedings and could not, therefore, comment on the report.

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