Monday, January 17

Environment. A fire in the Bouches-du-Rhône creates pollution comparable to that of Beijing

Pollution alert in the Bouches-du-Rhône. The inhabitants of the town of Saint-Chamas and the surrounding area have been suffering the consequences of a fire in a waste recycling center for ten days.

According to the air monitoring organization Atmosud, the air pollution generated by the fire has indeed “significant repercussions on the population” and can be compared … to that of Beijing, “when the peaks of pollution are the most intense ”.

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From Monday to Tuesday, the level of fine PM10 particles in the air around the site of the recycling company in Saint-Chamas, a town of around 8,000 inhabitants on the banks of the Etang de Berre, around fifty kilometers from Marseille, exceeded 140 µg / m3 (when the alert threshold is 80) over 24 hours, according to Atmosud’s measurements.

The fire broke out on December 26

The mayor of Saint-Chamas Didier Khelfa on Tuesday asked school directors to ban students from going out to recreation and closed outdoor sports centers and children’s games in his town “as a precaution”. He hopes to be able to lift these measures quickly, “thanks to the mistral which must arrive,” he told AFP.

The fire has mobilized sixty firefighters for ten days. In particular, from December 27, they reported odor nuisance to the authorities. On Tuesday, the fire was under control but continued to emit significant smoke “in view of the volume of waste which continues to burn,” the mayor told AFP.

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The mayor plans to file a complaint

“The conditions and the storage volume of the site are not in conformity” according to the prefecture which had issued a formal notice 12 days earlier to require that the company return to a level below 1,000 m3 of stored waste before the end of the year. “There we are at 20,000, 30,000 m3 of waste! “, Indignant the mayor Didier Khelfa who had alerted the authorities in April seeing” the stocks of waste which accumulate dangerously “. “How could we allow this company to drift to such an extent, regardless of the risk of fires?” “Asked Mr. Khelfa who plans to file a complaint, alongside France Nature Environment, federation of association for the defense of nature.

On Tuesday, during a crisis meeting, the various actors examined the strategy to be pursued to overcome this polluting fire. “We have to drown it and evacuate the waste but the operator is absent subscribers and it is a huge cost”, laments Didier Khelfa. According to him, “it is really necessary that the legislator supervises this type of company which can be established anywhere on a simple declaration on Internet”.

The company Recyclage Concept 13, which AFP tried to contact on Tuesday, was not reachable. This fire is “indicative of a much larger problem” according to Richard Hardouin, of FNE 13, who denounces “a parallel economic system because there is no sorting sector worthy of the name”.

Reference-www.leprogres.fr

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