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Brazilian communities sue Norsk Hydro in the Netherlands over toxic waste pollution & impacts on health & livelihoods; incl. company comments

" Norsk Hydro blamed for birth defects in Amazon forest pollution case", 28 Feb 2021

...[C] ommunity leader,said the rainforest town had for years suffered from toxic waste pollution from the local operations of Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro.

Long a simmering environmental scandal in Brazil, the allegations were brought on to the international stage this month when Socorro’s community sued the Norwegian giant in a Dutch court, seeking damages for claims that “the incorrect disposal of toxic waste” from operations in the area had caused a variety of health ailments, polluted the rainforest and destroyed economic opportunities...

The case — filed just days before the UK’s top court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell could face legal action in London brought by thousands of Nigerian villagers over alleged pollution — is the latest international trial pitting large, resource-hungry companies against impoverished rural communities. It also comes amid mounting pressure on companies to abide by strict environmental standards, a push being spearheaded visibly by Scandinavian investors.

“If business can be global, why can’t justice? These companies have businesses everywhere, but then when they do something wrong they want to smother the possibility of people getting compensation,” said Pedro Martins, partner at law firm PGMBM, which is representing 40,000 alleged victims bringing the suit against Norsk Hydro...

The company said it would respond to the request before the court in the Netherlands, where its subsidiaries controlling the local entities at issue are headquartered. It denied that in 2018 pollutants from its facilities spilled over during heavy rains and polluted nearby rivers and earth. The company declined to comment further. A source close to the company said, however, that it did “not see the [health] effects that have been claimed...