Tagus river pollution ‘unavoidable’ say Social Democrats
The Social Democratic Party opposition party has accused Minister of the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, of doing nothing to stop the pollution in the Tagus river, the latest instance of which was reported yesterday, (HERE).
The PSD proposed further investment in environmental monitoring but said that its petition had been rejected by the socialist government which had claimed that the existing control measures “were sufficient.”
The PSD accused Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes, of “inaction” in the fight against pollution levels in the Tagus and blamed him for the current pollution in the river in the Abrantes area.
A blanket of off-white foam yesterday was seen to be covering stretches of the river in a scenario described as “Dante-esque” by the proTejo environmental association and “scary” by the local mayor.
The Communist Party demanded the enforcement of sanctions against those responsible for the Tagus pollution over the past two days, and wants to change the law so that “environmental crimes no longer go unpunished.”
Communist MP, António Filipe, said that, “We respect economic activity and our goal is not to destroy jobs or liquidate companies, but we have to reconcile the activity of companies with environmental damages that may be caused by their activities.”
The Portuguese Environment Agency and other authorities with “powers to apply sanctions should act,” argued the Communist Party MP.
The PSD have proposed that additional people and equipment should be commissioned to monitor the pollution – this was the the content of the petition that was rejected – and today sent a 10-question document to the minister, again asking him to provide funds to strengthen the Portuguese Environment Agency and the General Inspectorate of Agriculture, the Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning (IGAMAOT).
“In an audience with the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, the Inspector General confirmed that the available resources were ‘sufficient,’ so it is not clear how the repeated pollution of the Tagus River can be avoided,” postulated the social democrats.