Amsa to release its environ records

2013-09-11 11:08

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Johannesburg - The High Court in Johannesburg has ordered steel giant ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa) to hand over its environmental records to the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (Veja), The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the publication, the community organisation Veja had been seeking the documents since 2011. The documents contained Amsa's environmental master plan, which had details about the pollution levels at its plants between 2000 and 2002.

They would also reveal where Amsa illegally dumped its hazardous waste. The environmental department took action against the company for this.

In its argument, Amsa said the documents Veja was seeking were irrelevant, outdated, and scientifically unfounded.

The company said it never adopted the plan and it never used it to form its current operating licences.

Their argument was dismissed.

Acting judge Paul Carstensen on Tuesday ruled that their refusal was invalid.

"A community-based, civil society organisation is entitled to monitor, protect and exercise the rights of the public at least by seeking information to enable it to assess the impact of various activities on the environment," he was quoted as saying.

Amsa had two weeks to hand over the documents.

Read more on:    amsa  |  environment

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