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Parliamentary questions
PDF 172kWORD 15k
13 February 2017
Question for written answer E-000990-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
José Bové (Verts/ALE) , Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Health and environmental problems for people living near the Altéo Gardanne factory and storage facilities
 Answer in writing 

The alumina factory in Gardanne was built in 1983. It has been classified as an Installation classée pour la protection de l’environnement (environmentally hazardous manufacturing site) since 2006 and is in a serious state of disrepair. The town of Gardanne was built around the site and the factory is therefore in close proximity to residential buildings. Large clouds of dust are emitted when bauxite is handled inside the factory. The town is frequently blanketed in this red dust, which contains a variety of chemicals.

Since the 1950s, a 50 km-long series of pipes has connected the factory to the rocky inlets on the outskirts of Marseille and the submarine canyon of Cassidaigne, into which millions of tonnes of red mud have been released.

The pipes near the factory have burst several times over the years. The last accident occurred in March 2016, when a cloud of sodium hydroxide settled on 15 hectares of land surrounding the site.

Every year, between 300 000 and 400 000 tonnes of solid waste are stored in the open at the Mange-Garri site in the municipality of Bouc-Bel-Air. Corrosive dust and pollutants have also been detected there.

Is the health and safety of the factory’s workers and of local residents being properly protected?

Original language of question: FR 
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