The prosecutor accuses six officials of the Generalitat for ecological crime

  • The employees did not value the repercussion that the modification of the activity of a company had in the increase of the consumption of water, electricity and atmospheric emissions

  • The complaint relates that situation of the “extremely dangerous” production and recycling of solvents was the fire at the Montornès del Vallès plant that caused the contamination of the Besòs

The Barcelona Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed a complaint for an ecological crime against six officials and charges of the General Directorate of Environmental Quality of the Generalitat for allegedly illegally authorizing to the company Ditecsa the increase in its production activity and the recycling of solvents, which entailed an increase in the consumption of water, energy and atmospheric emissions. The technicians did not assess whether this increase exceeded the legal limits. A “clear sample” of the “extremely dangerous for safety, human health and the environment & rdquor; of that work, according to the accusation, was the fire that occurred on December 11, 2019 at its Montornès del Vallès plant and caused the contamination of the Besòs river and the death of hundreds of fish.

A court in Barcelona has admitted for processing the Environment section of the public prosecutor’s office and has noted statement. This judicial body will investigate this crime against material resources, while another in Granollers is instructing the open case for the fire and contamination of the river.

The new complaint from the prosecution specifies that the company Ditecsa was modifying its activity to “increase significantly & rdquor; the production and treatment of solvents, which implied greater consumption of water, energy and emissions. The renewal requested by the company was always presented and in an “interested manner & rdquor; as a simple Non-Substantial Change (CNS), despite the fact that in the cases referred to they had to follow the “more complex” procedures; of a Substantial Change (SC), according to the indictment. This last procedure requires, before its approval, to assess the modification project and adopt corrective measures to avoid “risks to human health and the environment.”

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The officials, emphasizes the prosecution, “in attention to their public responsibility and subject matter expert knowledge”, intervened in the administrative processes of non-substantial change proposed by the company and promoted its approval “without evaluating in any case” data on the increase in water consumption, energy and emissions. This analysis would have prevented its authorization as such, since “they knew that at that time they were facing proposals for authentic substantial changes,” he details.

Up to three new permits

The complaint details that in July 2014, the company requested one of these modifications to increase the solvent recycling capacity. This activity, index, increases “very significantly the consumption of water” that the Montornès company obtained from the public network (11 times more). This water is used for the production of solvents, with the “consequent environmental and health risk” ; which could lead to the increase, “not foreseen or authorized”, in the production of that substance and the “difficulty” for its storage. In addition, more energy consumption and emissions were planned, especially from volatile organic compounds. The officials, the accusation emphasizes, did not take these aspects into account in the petitions of 2017 and 2018.

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