The Fibre Excellence Tarascon market pulp mill (FET, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department) was acquitted of polluting emissions today by the correctional court situated in this southern French town. On 6 January, the public prosecutor had requested a €50,000 fine against the site.
However, the court fined the company, which is in receivership, €10,000 for « operating pressure equipment despite an inspection that found it to be non-compliant, relating to a specific piece of equipment that required repair in December 2017, » the group said in a statement.
FET was thus acquitted of the charges of « pollution and operation of a non-compliant installation ». In addition, the charges of « operating an authorised classified installation without respecting the general rules and technical prescriptions » were cancelled.
In its press release, the company stated that, « since 2018, [it] has made significant investments to reduce its environmental footprint and the inconveniences that may result from its activities. Thanks to these investments, amounting to €22 million over two years, FET has drastically reduced its dust emissions, in line with current standards, but also nuisances such as noise and odours. These investments confirm FET’s commitment to the best environmental standards, as well as its desire to meet the expectations of the people living near the plant, with whom FET wishes to maintain a constructive dialogue which will continue in the coming months. »
Finally, FET indicates that it « intends to continue working to improve its environmental impact, in order to meet the highest environmental standards. The gradual conversion of bleached pulp production to unbleached pulp, which has a lower environmental impact, and the BioWatt project, which will produce green electricity from pulp production waste, are two key elements of the future plans for [the mill]. »