The province of Groningen is planning to start fining ESD in Farmsum for any additional blazers and has given the company 12 weeks to stop them altogether.
Translation by Traci White
According to the Eemskrant, the province is planning to take action against the company because the blazers contain silicon carbide, and the company does not have a permit for the emissions.
The company now has four weeks to respond to the province’s plans, and then an additional 12 weeks to bring an end to the blazers once and for all. If any subsequent incidents occur from that point forward, the company would be fined 250,000 euros per blazer with a cap of 750,000 euros.
One week ago, tiny black flecks covered the snow in the area after another blazer emitted a large cloud of carbon residue. RTV Noord reports that the Party for the Animals faction called for the company to be closed immediately following the incident, but the other coalition parties said that is not a realistic option at this point and want to see how the company responds to the fines.
Last year, air quality measurements by TNO determined that a very small concentration of silicon carbide fibres had been detected in the vicinity of the Oosterhoorn industrial park in Farmsum. The Dutch Public Health Department (GGD) have stated that the fibres can be carcinogenic, but the current levels in the area do not post a significant health risk. There were 30 blazers over the course of 2018.