12 Mar, 2024 @ 17:45
1 min read

Companies which dumped brine into Spain’s Mar Menor lagoon are fined €2.3million

New move to stop dangerous farmland pollution that's been devastating Spain's Mar Menor lagoon
New move to stop dangerous farmland pollution that's been devastating Spain's Mar Menor lagoon

SIX companies and farmers have been stung with €2.3 million of fines for polluting the Mar Menor lagoon in the Murcia region.

The Ministry of Environment has finished sanctioning investigations that started in 2021 against offenders in the Campo de Cartagena that dumped brine into the lagoon or into aquifers.

The liquid residue came from illegal desalination plants and contained high concentrations of agricultural nitrates which polluted the Mar Menor.

LOS URRUTIAS CLEAR UP

The penalties- which can be appealed- are regarded as financial compensation to repair the damage caused under the Environmental Liability Law.

Several of those sanctioned are also accused of committing environmental crimes and are awaiting trial.

The largest fine of €1.1 million goes to Group G’s España based in Torre Pacheco who grow fruit and vegetables.

Ciky Oro- exporters of melons around Europe, especially France and Switzerland- will have to pay over €798,000.

Three other firms and individuals have penalties ranging between €18,846 and €161,249.

A penalty of over €192,000 for committing an administrative infraction has been levied on businessman Isidro Soto Pedreño,

Investigations by the Guardia Civil and the Segura Hydrographic Confederation(CHS) say that between 2013 and 2017, Soto carried out continuous discharges from his desalination plant.

The water went through the pipeline of the La Señora ravine at a rate of 330,000 cubic metres of brine each year.

CHS staff had to dismantle the plant and shut down his Campo de Cartagena pipe network which took the discharges into the Mar Menor.

Meanwhile the CHS says that farmers in 97%(37,600 hectares) of the Campo are complying with special measures introduced two years ago to stop nitrate dumping.

A report will be produced before the summer on the impact that current irrigation activity is having on the lagoon, and what the next steps will be.

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