Letter: Polluters' disposal well below legal levels

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The Independent Online
Sir: I refer to the article by Nicholas Schoon ('Pressure group names top 100 legal polluters', 24 July) concerning the consented levels of industrial discharges to sewage plant treatment. The 'top polluter' figure for Ectona Fibres is in fact the result of a bureaucratic error which doubles their consent to 68,000 cubic metres per day; they actually discharge 850 cubic metres with a concentration of 1mg/litre, 800 times less than their permit. All these facts are available at the price of a telephone call; Friends of the Earth's accusations of secrecy are misplaced.

This industry is only too pleased to have these issues debated in public. We are anxious to create dialogues with environmentalist groups as we have the same aims and a remarkable record of improvements in environmental performance. We can help them to design a much-needed adjustment to their strategies for the complex conditions of the 1990s; an adversarial relationship with industry and attacks on the easy but fast-reducing target of industrial pollution are not appropriate ways to proceed.

Yours faithfully,



Chemical Industries Association

London, SW1

24 July