The factory of Gardanne (Bouches du Rhône), is producing alumina, a material used to make electronic component, ceramics and refractory material. This activity emits toxic waste full of heavy metals and heightened radioactivity, the famous “red muds”.
Since 1967, the factory discharges those red muds with a state authorization, at the heart of the Calanques National Park. Through a more than 55km long pipe, they are spread at a depth of 320 meters in the Cassidaigne canyon, an oceanic trench that used to be home to an extraordinary biodiversity.
In total, 32 millions tons (kg) of mud have been discharged. The nature’s destruction is so serious, that it seems scientifically impossible to restore the ecosystems. It is a violation of the ocean’s rights and a major ecocide case.
Thanks to a complaint filed by the ZEA associations, fishermen of the region and locals, the public prosecutor took on the case. Examining magistrates from the tribunal of Marseille’s health department are now in charge of the investigation.