Pollution of the Thève in the south of the Oise: an Ile-de-France company sent back to correctional

Pollution of the Thève in the south of the Oise: an Ile-de-France company sent back to correctional

The pollution had been noted in May near Lamorlaye – Photo: Mairie de Lamorlaye / Facebook

On May 6, a finding of hydrocarbon pollution (of the “waste oil” type) was established on the territory of the municipality of Lamorlaye by the company Suez, in charge of the management of the rainwater network of this municipality of south of the Oise. The starting point was at a manhole located at a place called “Le cri du radis”.

The pumping and cleaning operations implemented did not prevent the discharge of a large quantity of pollutants into the “Thève” river. The pollution extended over nearly 7 kilometers and concerned the municipalities of Lamorlaye, Boran-sur-Oise and Asnières sur-Oise, in the Val d’Oise. It entailed the deployment of significant resources from the fire and rescue services in order to prevent the extension of the pollution zone and to proceed with the removal of polluting substances. The Asnières-sur-Oise catchment management intermunicipal syndicate (SIECCAO) was forced to shut down two catchment points and modify the drinking water production methods for several days. Finally, for reasons of public health, the prefects of Oise and Val-d’Oise issued a joint order temporarily prohibiting the fishing and consumption of fish from this river.

A pumping and cleaning company

“On a judicial level, the investigations were entrusted to the research brigade and the post on horseback of Chantilly as well as to the French office for biodiversity (OFB), specifies Jean-Baptiste Bladier, the public prosecutor of Senlis. Very quickly, the use of images from the video protection system of the municipality of Lamorlaye made it possible to identify the vehicle from which the polluting material had been discharged, namely a tank truck belonging to a pumping and cleaning company in the Ile-de-France region. . On May 17, the driver of the aforementioned vehicle and his teammate were taken into custody. During their respective hearings, they admitted to being the source of the spill, arguing that they had been instructed to evacuate part of the contents of the tank to make room and be able to to visit an additional client.”

Many employees of the company in question were interviewed. They did not report any particular grievance against their employer. The manager of the company was however heard. “He indicated that, on the day of the events, the load plan was important and that, if he had been able to indirectly ask the two employees concerned to free up space, that meant that they could evacuate the water present in the one of the tank compartments, we specify to the prosecution of Senlis. He claimed that such a practice was permitted. Finally, he showed the will to repair the damage caused.

This Friday, June 17, on the instructions of the prosecution, the two employees in question were again placed in police custody. The same was true of the manager of the company. A confrontation was organised. “Already implicated in the past for similar facts, they were referred this afternoon to the judicial court of Senlis, indicates Jean-Baptiste Bladier. They will all be prosecuted as well as the company (legal person) of the heads of throwing or abandoning large quantities of waste in surface or underground waters or in sea waters, discharge into fresh water or fish farming of substances harmful to fish. or its food value and deposit of object or garbage transported by means of a vehicle in an unauthorized place.

Presumed innocent, they will appear before the Senlis criminal court on Wednesday September 7, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. to be tried there. “Defendants who are natural persons incur a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros, in particular, concludes the public prosecutor. The legal person incurs a fine of 375,000 euros, in particular.”

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