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Celtejo water sample results to remain 'a secret of justice'

TejoFoamPortugal’s Public Prosecution Service has decided that the results of the water analyses taken from the Tagus river will remain a 'secret of justice' and will not be revealed, for the timebeing anyway.
 
The General Inspectorate of Agriculture and the Environment announced today that the Ministry had confirmed that a criminal proceeding is now in play.
"Thus, all organs, services, or persons in contact with said process, are prevented from divulging any information, namely evidence, results of analysis or any other steps," stated the Public Prosecution Service on Friday, February 9th.
 
The Public Prosecutor's Office initiated a survey of potential polluters in the Vila Velha de Ródão area, following the foaming pollution (pictured above) that covered parts of the river from January 24th and which finally triggered triggered some action from the Ministry of the Environment.
 
On January 31st, the president of the Portuguese Environment Agency, Nuno Lacasta, confirmed that the pollution affecting the Tagus in the Abrantes area originated from pulp factories, the largest being Celtejo.
 
The 'secrecy of justice' rules mean that the analysis of the samples collected from Celtejo’s outflow will not be published. The collection of samples has been problematic but these successfully were obtained on the fourth attempt by three inspectors overseeing the operation over a 24-hour period.
 
Of the six potential sources of pollution, the Agricultural Inspectorate already has revealed the test results from five: the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Abrantes, Mação, Vila Ródão, and the Paper Prime and Navigator pulp factories.
 
All of them were under their allowable effluent limits, except the Abrantes Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was found to be pumping higher than allowed pollution into the river but at a level that the Agricultural Inspectorate considered ‘not excessive.’
 
Celtejo is likely to have been the major polluter of the Tagus and it also is likely that its current licence will be scrapped by the government.
 
The license issued to Celtejo in May 2016, allows double the amount of discharges than similar pulp processing units, so the currently imposed 50% reduction in pollution is likely to remain in place. 
 

Comments  

+2 #3 Harrison 2018-02-10 14:57
The routine of the "authorities" warning a miscreant before examining them is common place amongst the better connected in Portugal. A few years ago it even featured publicly in the elections for Bastonario of the Advogados where one female applicant was being slammed as 'unreliable' by other applicants for dobbing in a fellow lawyer - without giving them the accepted x months warning to tidy their act up. No doubt this 'dobbed one' got off unpunished due to not having been prior-warned because that is also in the Portuguese routine but that is another story.
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+5 #2 Peter Booker 2018-02-10 10:18
"The collection of samples has been problematic but these successfully were obtained on the fourth attempt by three inspectors overseeing the operation over a 24-hour period."

If I were suspicious, I should imagine that the inspectors were in touch with the operators of the pulp mill, and took their samples at a time when the mill was not emitting quantities of undesirable pollution.
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+10 #1 Jack Reacher 2018-02-09 22:27
Is this how European Nations act? What a dysfunctional country Portugal is, that has to use secrecy rules to hide illegal pollution into public property.
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