The Yara firm proclaims its participation within the Worldwide Agricultural Present from February 26 to March 5, 2023. A controversial presence, whereas the corporate is below sanctions for non-compliance of its fertilizer manufacturing services on its Montoir-de-Bretagne web site, close to Saint-Nazaire.
“Yara’s assumed industrial presence on the Paris Worldwide Agricultural Present doesn’t should not query that a lot. Why ?”asks the press launch from Yara, a Norwegian firm producing chemical fertilizers, whose manufacturing facility is positioned in Montoir-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique).
Why, certainly, does this presence increase questions when the corporate willingly expands on the decarbonization initiatives of its industrial websites and its fertilizers? ?
Fairly merely, as a result of this obvious progress in direction of “local weather neutrality” hides one other actuality, much less vaunted. That of discharges of water polluted with nitrogen and phosphorus which the corporate doesn’t treatment, regardless of the sanctions to which it’s topic.
For her half, the director of the Worldwide Agricultural Present, Valérie Leroy, considers that Yara has its place there and prefers “to not get into these controversies”.
Nevertheless, there’s controversy. The Montoir-de-Bretagne web site is classed Seveso excessive threshold due to the dangers it represents for the atmosphere and public well being. Un report of the inspection of labeled installations courting from 2011 establishes that Yara is the supply of 20% of commercial nitrogen emissions in Pays de la Loire and 50% in Loire-Atlantique.
Nevertheless, the formal notices of the Loire-Atlantique prefecture have been linked since January 16, 2012 in order that the corporate places a spot “modernization plan for its services and a provision for the remedy of commercial water”.
Non-compliance with these regulatory obligations gave rise to monetary penalties. A decree of January 11, 2023 imposes on the corporate a monetary penalty of 300 € per day for breaches of security guidelines and 150 € per day for failure to adjust to environmental rules.
Besides that the sums requested usually are not of a dimension to scare the industrialist, who recorded a turnover of “almost $16.6 billion” in 2021. The 49 800 euros paid that 12 months as sanctions represented lower than 0.1% of its turnover.
Yara’s communication division doesn’t handle the topic and places ahead “excessive efficiency catalysts [permettant de réduire] as much as 99% of N emissions2O from fertilizer manufacturing“.
Yannick Vaugrenard, PS senator from Loire-Atlantique, is aware of the case properly and isn’t stunned by Yara’s paradoxical communication. “VSThis communication is no surprise, they’re able to something, however it’s insufferable. The Montoir web site is below enhanced surveillance”, he asserts.
The successive fines and monetary penalties are too derisory and inadequate, we should strike tougher. It’s a political file.Yannick Vaugrenard
PS Senator of Loire-Atlantique
Yannick Vaugrenard believes that the group is displaying unhealthy will : “Whatand Yara talks about huge efforts, that is unsuitable! The varied initiatives introduced for the top of 2022 usually are not very credible scientifically and are additionally taking a very long time.
Xavier Métay, coordinator at France Nature Environnement (FNE) Pays de la Loire, agrees. “Yara works on a bluff and has been promising for years installations that don’t come”he confides.
Along with the environmental dangers, the FNE is especially involved concerning the hazard created by the dearth of safety on the location. “The manufacturing facility is positioned in an industrial zone, the Engie LNG terminal is correct subsequent door. Think about the domino impact, we’ve got already seen what it regarded like with the port of Beirut”, feedback Xavier Métay.
It is a very unhealthy instance to present to different producers.Xavier Metay
Coordinator at France Nature Setting Pays de la Loire
The state of affairs is stagnating, as evidenced by Benjamin Hogommat, lawyer at FNE Pays de la Loire: “The final official doc out there is an inspection report dated December 16, 2022. We learn on web page 6 that nitrogen and phosphorus discharges are nonetheless very excessive for the 12 months 2022 and, on web page 8, that the unit industrial water remedy plant remains to be not in operation”. The latter ought to have been carried out by the top of 2015 on the newest.
For its half, Yara’s communication division says that an experiment has been launched with the start-up Planctonid Environnement and that the corporate is now working to acquire a constructing allow for the set up of a microalgae pond. to soak up phosphorus from its industrial waters.
An answer that Benjamin Hogommat judges “unconvincing” and which has already fallen via for the primary time, the partnership with the corporate Algosource having failed in 2019.
A number of authorized proceedings initiated
The FNE Pays de la Loire has initiated authorized proceedings towards the producer regarding discharges of water loaded with nitrogen and phosphorus and the dangers of accidents introduced by the location.
The process is placed on maintain as a result of precedence is given to the judicial investigation triggered by the Saint-Nazaire prosecutor’s workplace, which might result in a legal conviction.
Negotiations between the French and Norwegian governments are wanted to place stress on the Yara group and convey it into compliance.Yannick Vaugrenard
PS Senator of Loire-Atlantique
Contacted concerning the civil and legal authorized proceedings towards it, the corporate has not responded to our requests for the second.
Outrage at Yara’s conduct has lengthy been shared by different associations, such because the Confédération Paysanne and Mates of the Earth.
In 2020, they took over the ministry’s stand on the Paris agricultural present to award it the Pinocchio prize, “one of the best of the worst”, for its motion to greenwashing.
This 12 months, the agrochemist will have the ability to obtain the prize on web site, if by likelihood it’s awarded to him once more.