IJmuiden residents sue Tata Steel for health damages
Dozens of IJmuiden residents are suing Tata Steel for deliberately damaging their health and the health of the local wildlife. A number of foundations also joined the lawsuit, Noordhollands Dagblad reports.
"This factory unscrupulously and deliberately dumps hazardous substances into the air and soil of a densely populated area and into the wild. Deliberately, because these are very risky production processes that they are consciously engaged in," lawyer Benedicte Ficq, who is filing the charges on behalf of the locals, said to the newspaper.
The lawyer will wait a few more weeks before filing the charges, to give more local residents chance to join the suit should they wish to. Ficq believes she has a strong case. According to her, it is easy to prove that Tata Steel violated its permit regulations on a large scale as judicial authorities and the province already identified several violations and imposed penalties for these.
Tata Steel in IJmuiden is also under suspicion from the national authorities. The Ministry of Justice and Security is already involved in a case against the steel manufacturer for violating its environmental permit. Tata Steel is accused of not doing enough to prevent the spread of substances.
The institute for public health and environment RIVM is also investigating pollution in the area surrounding the steel factory - including IJmuiden, Wijk aan Zee, Velsen and Beverwijk. The RIVM expects to publish its results next year.
The steel manufacturer was not available to comment to the newspaper.