Environmental organisations and Dutch provinces launch appeals against Ineos ethane cracker

Fifteen environmental organisations have filed a lawsuit against the Flemish government in their battle against the Ineos ethane cracker in Antwerp, the charity Client Earth reported on Thursday.

The organisations want to challenge the permit for the ethane cracker, which they call "Europe's biggest plastic project". The lawsuit specifically challenges the Flemish government's approval of Ineos' new licence.

Client Earth, which specialises in environmental litigation, says the Flemish government's approval of the project was given without requiring an impact assessment from Ineos. "This violates both European and national legislation," the organisation says.

After Ineos was granted permission, the chemical company "failed to share details of the actual impacts," Client Earth said. Environmental groups remain strongly opposed to the cracker, saying it would saturate the market for plastics made from fossil fuels.

Dutch provinces announce appeal

The Dutch provinces of Zeeland and Noord-Brabant also announced on Wednesday that they would launch a new appeal. "We have no other choice," they say. "The amount of nitrogen is similar to the first permit [which was later annulled by the Council for Permit Disputes, ed.]. We are afraid of the consequences for our nature."

Annick De Ridder called the Dutch appeal "astonishing". The port councillor claims she has repeatedly asked for consultations and says the emissions from the cracker are minimal. "I see this as ill will and opposition to maintaining a sustainable industry," De Ridder said on Wednesday.

"We are afraid of the consequences for our nature"

Construction of the ethane cracker will continue as normal. By the time the Council for Permit Disputes issues a new ruling, part of the plant may already be completed.



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