Injection Permit for Werra Potash Plant Confirmed
Gerstungen municipality-led applicants’ action fails before Administrative Court
The municipality of Gerstungen, the action group “For a Werratal worth living in” and the Association for Angling and Nature Conservation of Thuringia have finally failed before the Administrative Court of Hesse (VGH) to have, by way of summary proceedings, the injection of saline wastewater from the Werra potash plant into the flat layers of dolomite prohibited. Already in August 2012, the applicants’ action failed to achieve this at first instance before the administrative court of Kassel. No appeal against the ruling of the VGH is possible. The municipality and the environmental groups have to bear the costs of the proceedings. Thus, for the municipality of Gerstungen the series of failures continues, which they have had to accept in recent years with changing partners in a large number of proceedings against the Company.
Dr. Ralf Diekmann, Managing Director of K+S KALI GmbH, welcomes the VGH’s ruling: “For the employees of the Werra plant, for the region and for our whole Company, it is good news that production, which depends on proper means of disposal, can be maintained at full capacity. Above all, our argumentation has been confirmed by the decision of the court with welcome clarity”.
The court has dealt with the material and formal aspects of the complaint very extensively. In its statement of grounds for the ruling, it comes to the conclusion that the permit was granted without procedural errors. Primarily, the court also finds no concrete indications of a hazard to the drinking water supply of the municipality of Gerstungen. The opposing arguments of the applicants and of the expert appointed by them, Dr. habil. Ralf Krupp, were rejected by the court as an unproven hypothesis.
The considerations of the regional council of Kassel regarding the issuing of the injection permits were examined by the court, which confirmed that the permit took into reasonable consideration the public and private interests in maintaining potash production at the Werra plant and that the permit is therefore acceptable. The court underlines the public interest in preserving jobs in the potash industry and emphasises the importance of the Werra plant in the supply of domestic raw materials to the agricultural sector and industry.
For many years, K+S KALI GmbH has been working intensively to minimise adverse effects on the environment from potash production. At the Werra plant, a package of measures on water protection is currently being implemented, which with investments of € 360 million by the end of 2015 will lead to a further significant reduction in saline wastewater.
About K+S KALI GmbH
In six mines in Germany, including the Werra Verbund plant, K+S KALI GmbH mines crude salts containing potash, magnesium and sulphur and produces a wide range of high-quality products from them for the agricultural, industrial, healthcare and food sectors. Of the more than 8,000 people employed by the Company, some 5,000 are based at the production sites in Hesse and Thuringia. More information about K+S KALI GmbH can be found on the Company’s website at www.kali-gmbh.com.
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