The mayor of Florange (Moselle) will lodge a complaint against ArcelorMittal for a spill in a hydrocarbon river, he told AFP Wednesday, and the CGT denounced a “deliberate discharge of hydrochloric acid”, which that the group is challenging.
“We will file a complaint, as we do every pollution of the Fensch”, a tributary of the Moselle, said the mayor of LR Florange, Rémy Dick.
“Following the mismanagement of an incident” at the coking plant, “400 liters of 97% hydrochloric acid were emptied into a decanter, which caused a chemical reaction with the hydrocarbons and oil present at the surface “, explained to AFP Lionel Buriello, delegate CGT of the mosellan site of ArcelorMittal. According to him, the mixture then spilled into the river from a point of discharge.
ArcelorMIttal denies any acid rejection
The “iridescence”, noted on October 30 “on the Fensch are the result of an operation on our coke plant water treatment,” acknowledged in a statement the steel group.
“As foreseen by the procedure, ArcelorMittal immediately brought in its services of internal firefighters who laid a floating dam downstream of the discharge point,” said the leader of the steel.
ArcelorMittal said in the statement that “no acid releases (had) occurred”.
“This possibility was mistakenly mentioned in a first internal intervention report, but it was quickly dismissed,” the group said. “The acidity (pH) measurements made at the point of release show that the values have remained in compliance with prescribed regulatory values,” he said.
“This denial is just as irrational as the deliberate act of pollution, when were the measures made, where,” Buriello said.
Fourteen reported spills
At the request of the CGT, an extraordinary social and economic committee was organized on Wednesday.
The pollution of the watercourse by the steel group “remains a problem” that does not find a solution, said the mayor of Florange.
“Over two years, thirteen spills (of hydrocarbons) have been recorded with (the Val de Fensch agglomeration community) before this one, so that is fourteen,” he added. According to him, ArcelorMittal recognized three out of the fourteen.
In September, the Thionville Criminal Court discharged ArcelorMittal for the unauthorized dumping of wastewater on a slag near Hayange, presented by a former interim worker as a release of acid to strip steel. The prosecution appealed this decision.