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Silves: Residents demand a solution for fumes emitted by cork factory

SILVES: RESIDENTS DEMAND A SOLUTION FOR FUMES EMITTED BY CORK FACTORYResidents in Vale da Lama, Silves, have again demanded an end to the emission of fumes emitted by the Amorim Group's cork factory, expressing outrage at the delay in resolving the problem.

Residents allege that Corticeira Amorim Cork Insulation did not comply with the plan presented to the City Council and the Regional Development Coordination Commission (CCDR) of the Algarve, which provided for the elimination of smoke and noise produced by the factory by the end of August this year.

The emission of smoke and noise from the factory dedicated to the production of cork insulation agglomerates is located in on the N269 road from Silves to Algoz, opposite parts of the Pestana Silves Golf Course just outside Silves.

The situation has been causing complaints from local residents for several years, which led to the municipality taking the initiative to act as a mediator between the cork company, residents, the Algarve CCDR and the Pestana Group, with  the golf course also affected by the smoke produced.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, one of the representatives of the residents association “Vizinhos da Fábrica”, Nuno Neves, said that “the problem has not been resolved completely, there is indeed a reduction in smoke emitted during the day, and an increase at night. The plan to which the company committed was not fulfilled and, once again, Amorim are delaying the resolution of the problem, claiming that there are delays in the work”, he said.

According to Nuno Neves, “what has been done, contrary to what would be essential, which was to eliminate smoke, are cosmetic works, with improvements to areas surrounding the factory, with trees, parking area and lighting”.

According to the person responsible, in the periodic meetings held at the Silves Chamber to present the progress of the process, the company claims that the pollutants emitted are within legal parameters, but does not present any document to justify it.

“We want to see the results of the tests carried out by the company to be sure that there is no environmental pollution that could put people's health at risk”, Neves said.

To call for an end to environmental discomfort, the Vizinhos da Fábrica association made up of residents living close to the factory promotes gatherings at the entrance to the Chamber on the days when meetings take place.

In a written response sent to the Lusa agency last May, Corticeira Amorim claimed that it is “complying in detail with the plan established with official entities and in which residents participated”.

In the document, the company states that in accordance with its legal obligations “it periodically informs the CCDR of the Algarve about the parameters of gaseous emissions from two emission sources: Boilers (emission of the so-called black smoke that occurred when the Boiler was started) and Autoclaves ( emission of so-called white smoke resulting from the water vapor used in the process)”.

At the time, the company maintained that “no legal non-compliance was detected in emissions”, and “a new boiler was installed in January 2022, which solved the problem of black smoke”.

Regarding white smoke, tests have begun on the first filter system and depending on the result, a second filter system may or may not be necessary.

Source Lusa

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