Mozambique: Court challenge to government's authorisation of BHP Billiton's "potentially dangerous" pollution

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Article
24 November 2010

Controversial Bypass Under Way At Mozambique Smelter

Author: Nastasya Tay, IPS

BHP Billiton’s Mozal smelter has begun bypassing its fume treatment centres, emitting potentially dangerous fumes into the air without treating them first...authorisation for the bypass…was granted for a period of six months by the government...A coalition...led by local groups Livaningo and Justica Ambiental...says that the community has still not been presented with adequate evidence that the bypass will not be harmful...The purpose of the FTCs is to filter the carbon plant’s emissions of potentially harmful pollutants. Bypassing the FTCs means that compounds...which in sufficient quantities can cause hypocalcemia, cardiac and respiratory arrest, and death – will be released into the atmosphere in greater concentrations...According to a Mozal statement, [an independent] report...concludes that “the outcome of the predicted values showed a non-significant cumulative impact on health, environment and community.”…[also re: SGS]

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Article
20 September 2010

BHP Billiton plans six month bypass of smelter smokestack scrubbers [Mozambique]

Author: Nastasya Tay, Inter Press Service (IPS)

Civil society groups are challenging a six-month authorisation granted aluminium giant BHP Billiton to emit potentially dangerous fumes from its Mozal smelter into the air without treating them first...Authorisation for the bypass, which Mozal says is required to rebuild and upgrade the...[Fume Treatment Centres]...is due to begin in late October 2010. Civil society groups...filed a court action Sep. 14 to reverse the government’s decision, which they say is based on insufficient information about the potential impact to human health and the environment around the smelter...Mozal says it has actively sought stakeholder engagement, but the community disagrees...Mozal says it has...an independent report on the safety of its proposal...[which] concludes that "the outcome of the predicted values showed a non-significant cumulative impact on health, environment and community." However, the report has not been released to the public... [also refers to SGS]

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