With the waters of the Tejo river at risk from developments in Spain (click here), a threat in the form of repeated foam slicks in Abrantes is making locals see red.
Back in March last year, environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes pledged that the days of polluting businesses getting away with impunity were over. But 10 months on, the problems persist and can be traced directly to Celtejo, a business belonging to the ALTRI group and producing Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp.
According to left-wingers who have taken up the issue, it is time for a ban on Celtejo’s production “to a level that does not exceed its capacity to deal with the processing of effluent”.
BE MPs have told parliament how fish in the area have “all but disappeared”, while “neither the press, nor local indignation and the accompaniment of organs of power” have impeded the “continual polluting” that comes from one of Celtejo’s emission pipes “placed in the middle of the river, in front of Vila Velha de Ródão”.
BE’s “project of resolution” for the problem has been presented to parliament, calling for the “immediate reduction” in production at Celtejo.
Meantime the latest slew of brown-tinged foam has ‘disappeared’ from Abrantes “on its way to Lisbon”, said Arlindo Marques of the area’s campaign group ProTejo.