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Parliamentary questions
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7 March 2019
Question for written answer E-001246-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sofia Sakorafa (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Environmental protection in Halkidiki and pollution from Olympiada mine belonging to the ‘Ellinikos Xrysos’ company
 Answer in writing 

In connection with the operation of the Olympiada mine belonging to the ‘Ellinikos Xrysos’ company, environmental inspectors have reported systematic pollution of the Mavrolakkas river, drawing particular attention to the inadequate monitoring of effluent and pointing out that ceiling values for zinc, cadmium, lead, arsenic and pH are being exceeded, resulting in ongoing water contamination.

For example, the level of lead concentration in surface water was found to be 13.05 μg/l. The company argues that this is ‘within the limit’, whereas it is in fact 985% above it, reflecting the extent of the pollution.

The company is clearly indifferent to its statutory and contractual obligations and is continuing to follow outdated practices that do not comply with environmental standards or with current Greek and European legislation. Furthermore, critical levels of toxic heavy metals (such as mercury, chromium, barium, selenium) are not being measured at all.

In view of:
Scientific evidence that the company is guilty of pollution and is thus infringing both Greek and European legislation,
The manifest refusal of the company to comply with its obligations:

What action will the Commission take to put an end to this unacceptable pollution, ensure that company mends its ways with regard to its criminal indifference and inadmissible practices and prevent irreversible damage to the health of local residents as a result of contamination?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 2 April 2019Legal notice