Home News Polluting foam blankets Tagus river – ‘the worst ever seen’

Polluting foam blankets Tagus river – ‘the worst ever seen’

Published on 24/01/2018

A blanket of evil-looking, brown foam, described as "Dante-esque" and 'the worst ever seen' has covered an area of the Tagus river downstream of an industrial area where factories and their dumping of effluent are being 'closely watched' by the Ministry of the Environment.

The ever-vigilant proTEJO Movement, whose environmental guardian and leader Arlindo Marquês already is being sued for €250,000 by one of the factories who took exception to his observations, (HERE), recorded for posterity the blanket of foam which on Wednesday covered the Tagus in the Abrantes area.

The scenario was described as “scary” by the municipality with Marquês commenting, “I have been at this for more than three years and this is a Dante-esque scene, never seen before.”

The environmentalist stressed that the “brown water” and “deadly foam blanket” that covered a large area of the water in the Abrantes area this morning was “one of the worst scenarios” ever recorded in this section of the river that eventually flows past Lisbon to the ocean.

“It looks like the scene from a movie, there’s so much foam that you can barely see the water,” said Marquês, lamenting the continuation of “very serious environmental, social and economic problems,” and highlighting “the anger and despair of fishermen” as with the water in this condition, fish will not enter the estuary and swim up the Tagus.

“There is no fish that can survive this and fishermen, restaurants and other tourism sectors accumulate losses and anticipate yet another disaster for the next spawning season,” noted Marques.

The councillor charged with environmental matter at Abrantes council, Manuel Valamatos, said he was surprised by a “brutal scene of pollution,” in what he described as a “scary situation.”

“We have no information on where it came from,” said Valamatos, noting that the Portuguese Environment Agency “was here in the morning to collect water samples,” and that he is waiting for more information.

The Ministry of the Environment said that it is aware of the situation and continues to follow, “in a very intense way, everything that goes on in the Tagus River.”

Arlindo Marquês said the pollution is coming from the ??Vila Velha de Ródão factory area as upstream from that point the water is clear.

“Today is another black day in the history of pollution in the Tagus River,” said the environmentalist, adding that “Someone has to get a grip, be it the President of the Republic or the Government, because, if this carries on there will be no life left in the river.”