Algues vertes : les coûts de ramassage explosent
By Marion Brunet, Le Figaro
Green Algae: the exploding costs of collection
Google English Translation
The green algae are back on the front of the stage. Beyond their potential danger it is, this time, the costs of collection and treatment that are implicated. In a note published last Friday, the Brittany Regional Chamber of Auditors reported that these expenditures have doubled over the past three years.
The proliferation of green algae is favored by the presence of nitrate in soils, which are linked to intensive farming and agricultural fertilizers.
Brittany represents 7% of the French arable land and farms 50% of France’s pigs and poultry.
The costs of collection and processing of green algae for Brittany Region, have increased from 345,063 to more than 800,000 euros between 2007 and 2009. The volumes have picked up from 27,150 to over 60,500 m3. Not to mention the national anti-algae plan introduced last February by the Government, which should also lead, in the coming years, to an increase in spending with its requirement for systematic collection of green algae, and treatment in controlled stations.
400,000 euros in 2009 to 1,400,000 this year
This information was confirmed by the urban community, Trégor-Lannion (Côtes d’Armor), which has already collected 7,000 tons of green algae on its beaches since early May. “The collection is carried seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. We do not want to take any risk on our beaches, “said the urban community President, Joel Le Jeune. While last year we have picked up 26,000 tons, we believe that we will reach 35,000 tons this year. This will inevitably result in increased costs of collection and reprocessing.”
It is reported that 400,000 euros were spent last year, and spending could rise up to 1.4 million euros in 2010.
As in previous years, expenditures include the collection of the “sea lettuce” (Green Algae), and from now, as required by the Government’s plan, they will include the cost of processing green algae in sewage.
The Government is committed through its national plan, to allocate Brittany’s Region a budget of 700,000 euros for the collection and processing of “sea lettuce”. However, this figure is well below the 1.4 million euros that the scourge could cost to Lannion-Trégor and region. “That is not enough” given the number of municipalities affected by green algae.
Legal proceedings contemplated against the State
Faced with this pollution, the urban community-Lannion Trégor, has no other recourse but prosecuting the State.
“At the Department of Ecology, we recognize that costs will increase, as pickups need to increase. We are not against the principle of co-financing”, says a collaborator of Minister Jean-Louis Borloo. But we will obtain the Region Executive to draw, by the end of the year, the balance sheet to see if there is indeed a cost overruns.” Status quo then. The town of Lannion-Trégor has until July 15 to prosecute.