January 15, 2010 at 8:38 am #2804
Higher penalty for Isla upon exceeding SO2-norm
12 Jan, 2010, 07:22 (GMT -04:00)
Artile obtained from : http://www.amigoe.com
WILLEMSTAD In the appeal of the residents -living under the emission- against the Isla refinery, the court judged this morning that the refinery is not allowed to emit an annual average of more than 80 μg/m3 of sulphur dioxide (SO2) downwind. The penalty would be a fine of 75 million guilders per year.
The court took into consideration that the costs which would be imposed on the Isla in such a case, would not weigh out against the health risk of the people living downwind of the refinery.
Previous 5 million
On several points the ruling of the court deviates from the verdict of the court in first instant of May 28th, 2009 against which Stichting Humanitaire Zorg, Schoon Milieu op Curaao (Smoc) and the district residents, as well as the Isla had appealed. In that verdict a penalty of 5 million guilders had then been imposed upon exceeding the norm.
Regarding the limiting value for fine particles (TSP), the court judged that there are no grounds to impose a limit on the Isla in this case as well, as there is insufficient evidence that the Isla had exceeded this in the past or is exceeding it presently. The court based this on the reports submitted by the Stichting Advisering Bestuursrechtspraak during this case.
Isla’s argument that they could not be held responsible for the emission of sulphur dioxide from other issuers (amongst others, shipping industry, road traffic, Aqualectra, BOO-power plant) was accepted and the court coupled the imposed interdiction only on Isla’s own emissions of sulphur dioxide on ground level. The court thus increased the penalty in the ruling to 75 million guilders for each calendar year that Isla acts in violation of the imposed interdiction. The court has limited the in the preliminary proceedings ruled provisions to five years.
Both parties may lodge an appeal with at the Supreme Court in The Hague. The ruling of the court is provisionally enforceable, which means that the sentence will not be suspended in case a cassation appeal is lodged.
Besides the civil preliminary proceedings in which a verdict was given in appeal, there is still another case pending in appeal with regard to the Isla. That case is following its own proceedings.
Norbert George of Stichting Humanitaire Zorg states that a next step will be to file a report against the Isla-refinery in connection with the wrongful act which they committed against all those living, working or attending school downwind of the refinery. According to George, the Board of Governors and the government of the Antilles should be concerned by the fact that they never did anything about it and still to this day choose not to do so.
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