Environmental organizations ready to sue Norwegian state over mining project

Engebøfjellet - FørdefjordenPhoto: Marit Hommedal / NTB
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Natur og Ungdom and Naturvernforbundet warn that they are ready to sue the state to stop the dumping of mining waste in the Førdefjorden.

In a letter to the Ministry of Climate and the Environment on Thursday, the environmental organizations announced they would proceed to sue the state. 

In the letter, the organizations say that the permit granted in 2015 did not include a plan for handling the mining waste. In their view, this is a breach of the EU regulations.

“There is a clear procedural error. We, therefore, ask the Ministry of Climate and the Environment to withdraw the discharge permit, but we are prepared for the fact that it may be necessary to go to court,” Truls Gulowsen, leader of Naturvernforbundet, stated.

Not worried

According to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), the Ministry of Climate and the Environment has three weeks to answer the organizations. If their claim is not complied with, the national boards of the organizations will likely sue the state.

Kenneth Nakken Angedal, director of the mining company Nordic Mining, is not worried.

“We are confident that the operating license has been granted on a good and legal foundation, after good and long assessments of many instances,” he told NRK.

Mining waste

The company Nordic Mining wants to extract rutile from Engebøfjellet, which is located on the north side of the Førdefjord in Naustdal in Sunnfjord Municipality in Vestland.

The residual masses from the rutile production will be deposited at a depth of over 300 meters in the Førdefjord, which has triggered strong protests from the environmental movement. 

The Institute of Marine Research has advised against dumping mining waste in the fjord.

Rutile is mainly used for the production of environmentally friendly pigment. The Sintef Research Foundation has previously estimated that the project can provide 170 jobs directly related to production, which is estimated to last for 50 years.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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