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Locals invite Dutch PM Rutte to see Tata Steel pollution for himself

Steel News - Published on Fri, 18 Jan 2019

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Dutch News reported that the inhabitants of the seaside village of Wijk aan Zee have taken out a full page advert in the Volkskrant calling on prime minister Mark Rutte to take action to stop the pollution from companies Tata Steel and Harsco in nearby IJmuiden. In the ad, action group IJmondig claims there is a serious environmental problem and our local and regional authorities are incapable of protecting us from one of the two biggest CO2 producers in the country. The ad said that “We are finding black graphite dust on our sleeping childrens’ duvets. A rainbow of chemical substances can be found on our sinks, window sills, dining tables and cars. Sometimes it’s white silicone fixative, often graphite and sometimes a brown substance or a grey sticky one.”

The graphite comes from Harsco Metals, which processes slag, a residual by-product of steel on the Tata site. In October last year Tata and Harsco announced they would be working together to solve the problem but said ‘it would take time because of design and permit procedures’.

Among the health problems cited by the group are lung problems, headaches, dizziness and nausea and lack of concentration. Tata Steel was given a subsidy of EUR 35 million by the Dutch government to build a new type of smelter with lower CO2 emissions but, IJmondig points out, it will take a long time to develop and will also be built first at a Tata site in India.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 18 Jan 2019
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