Four charged in Finland toxic leak case

An aerial view of frozen Finnish lake Kivijaervi after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine on November 12, 2012 in Talvivaara. (Kimmo Rauatmaa/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial view of frozen Finnish lake Kivijaervi after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine on November 12, 2012 in Talvivaara. (Kimmo Rauatmaa/AFP/Getty Images)
Four persons representing the Talvivaara nickel mine were indicted on Monday by the Eastern Finland public prosecutor.

The charges levied include criminal negligence in the design and research phase of the nickel mine, as well as negligence in the environmental and water management permit application. Operators in charge of the construction and commission of the gypsum pond that was the source of the leaks and the mine’s waste treatment and disposal are also charged with criminal negligence. Four persons representing the Talvivaara nickel mine were indicted on Monday by the Eastern Finland public prosecutor. The charges levied include criminal negligence in the design and research phase of the nickel mine, as well as negligence in the environmental and water management permit application. Operators in charge of the construction and commission of the mine’s waste treatment and disposal and the gypsum pond that was the source of the leaks are also charged with criminal negligence. Heikki Ylisirniö, district prosecutor for Eastern Finland public prosecutor’s office, and Kimmo Vakkala from the Oulu district prosecutor’s office filed charges against four persons associated with the Talvivaara mine.

Charged with aggravated environmental impairment

Four men, CEO Pekka Perä and former CEO Harri Natunen and Lassi Lammassaari and Ville Heikkinen, have been charged with aggravated environmental impairment. The company’s operating subsidiary Talvivaara Sotkamo has also been charged a corporate fine. According to the summons, the plaintiffs in the case are several local fishing waters associations, the state-owned forest administrator Metsähallitus, the Kainuu ELY centre and two property owners. A press release from the Eastern Finland public prosecutor’s office says the prosecution concerns criminal negligence in the Talvivaara mine’s design and research phase, operator negligence in the associated environmental and water management permit applications, operator negligence in waste handling and disposal, operator negligence in the construction and commission of the gypsum pool, and the controlled and uncontrolled leakage of water containing toxic levels of sodium, sulphate and manganese discharges into the surrounding terrain. The prosecution chose not to press charges for dust, noise or hydrogen sulphide emissions or the omission of a environmental and water management permit for the first phase of the subsequent uranium recovery. The case will proceed with a written preparation from the Kainuu district court, where the plantiffs’ demands will be outlined and the accused will be given the opportunity to respond to the charges against them. The district court will then decide how to proceed. The Finnish online magazine Long Play recently reported that the mine’s senior management ignored warnings about environmental problems at the site.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Arctic mining – unexpected social negatives for Inuit women, Radio Canada International Finland:  Finland’s Talvivaara posts seven million euro loss, Yle News Greenland: Analysis: Implications of Greenland’s decision to allow uranium mining, Blog by Mia Bennett Norway:  Sustainable future for Arctic people?, from Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger Russia: Analysis – Putin shutters Russian indigenous peoples’, Blog by Mia Bennett Sweden:  Artists boycott market in Arctic Sweden over mining conflict, Radio Sweden United States:  Oregon mining company says it can build Arctic port for Alaska, Alaska Dispatch

Yle News

Yle News

For more news from Finland visit Yle News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *