Shell And BASF Accused Of Causing Public Health Problems
Royal Dutch Shell and BASF have been fined by a court in Brazil with 1.1 billion reals, equivalent to 490 million euros for soil and water pollution. The pollution has allegedly caused health problems for the residents near the companies’ working sites, Reuters.
According to “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the fine was decided by a court in the town of Paulina, located 120 kilometers north of Sao Paulo.
The two companies dispute the charges and will appeal the penalty.
“We expect Brazil to establish justice, to a higher level, I was not responsible to the alleged consequences of some diseases and other charges, said on Sunday a spokesman for Shell.
BASF also plans to appeal the decision to an appeal court and said that Shell group is responsible for problems that occurred, said a representative of the German giant.
Shell built the factory in Paulinia in the 70s and sold it in 1995, to Cyanamid chemical producer.
BASF bought in 2000 and operated the pesticide factory there for only two years before its closing. Since 2008, the production unit is again owned by Shell.
Shell Brazil regretted that there was environmental contamination at the factory in Paulina, who was held over time separately by Shell and BASF. We are convinced that there was no connection between our operations and the problems with the population’s health “said a Shell representative.
BASF is the largest chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Germany. An interesting fact is that initially, BASF originally stood for Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik
The BASF Group comprises subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and close to 380 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Americas and Africa. Its headquarters are located in Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). BASF has customers in over 200 countries and supplies products to a wide variety of industries.
BASF was founded on 6 April 1865 Mannheim, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, by Friedrich Engelhorn. He had been responsible for setting up a gasworks and street lighting for the town council in 1861. The gasworks produced tar as a byproduct, and Engelhorn used this for the production of dyes. BASF was set up in 1865 to produce other chemicals necessary for dye production, notably soda and acids. The plant, however, was erected on the other side of the Rhine river at Ludwigshafen because the town council of Mannheim was afraid that the air pollution of the chemical plant could bother the inhabitants of the town. In 1866 the dye production processes were also moved to the BASF site.
The other company implicated in this lawsuit, Royal Dutch Shell plc., commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office at the Shell Centre in London, United Kingdom. It is the largest energy company and the second largest company in the world measured by revenues and is one of the six oil and gas giants.
It has operations in over 90 countries, produces around 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 44,000 service stations worldwide. Shell Oil Company, its subsidiary in the United States, is one of its largest businesses.
The Royal Dutch Shell Group was created in February 1907 when the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd of the United Kingdom merged their operations – a move largely driven by the need to compete globally with the then predominant US petroleum company, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The terms of the merger gave 60% of the new Group to the Dutch arm and 40% to the British.11