The Nestlé logo - Fabrice Coffrini AFP

The president of the Ardennes Fishing Federation, Michel Adam, announced that he had filed a complaint on Wednesday against Nestlé after the pollution of the Aisne, which resulted in the death of thousands of fish. Detected during the night from Sunday to Monday at Challerange, 50 km from Reims, the pollution of the river "has resulted in very high fish mortality due to the decrease in the oxygen content in the water", a indicated the prefecture of the Ardennes.

"We have just lodged a complaint against Nestlé France for pollution and violation of article 432.2 of the Environmental Code", declared Michel Adam, who estimates that the damage amounts to "several thousand euros". "Everything died on a portion of 7 km and 30 meters wide", he lamented. “We have already recovered three tonnes of dead fish. But there are still some; 14 species were affected, including protected species such as the eel and the lamprey ”. "I've been with the federation for 40 years, I've never seen pollution of this magnitude ..."

Water analyzes are underway

The Nestlé factory in Challerange, which manufactures powdered milk, has confirmed a “punctual and involuntary overflow of biological sludge effluents, without the presence of chemicals” from its wastewater treatment plant on Sunday evening. "Upon learning of the report on Sunday at 11 pm, we immediately halted production and stopped the spill," said manager Tony do Rio.

"This spill was punctual over a period of less than three hours", he added, specifying that the activity of the plant had been "stopped for a few days". Since Tuesday, volunteer fishermen and firefighters "carry out the removal of fish and their evacuation", indicated the prefecture and "a dam has been installed to contain the spread of pollution". “Over the past two days, more than two tonnes of fish have been removed. This work will continue ”this Thursday.

"However, no fish mortality was noted on Wednesday [...], a sign of a probable dilution of the pollution slick", indicated the body this Wednesday at the end of the day. According to Daniel Drivière, president of the Challerange fishing company, “we even found dead fish over 1.5 meters long. It is a disaster. »Analyzes are in progress, in particular to determine possible chemical and / or bacteriological pollution.


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