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A criminal investigation into the UPL chemical spill has gotten underway.

Oct 04, 2021

 

 

 

 

By Hajira Khota                                                                                                                                                            04.10.2021   

Following the protests and subsequent toxic spill in Durban, a corporation at the centre of a criminal investigation has defended activities at its Cornubia chemical storage. During the riots in July, the facility, which stocks a variety of chemicals, was targeted.

After failing to get permission from government regulators, the investigation discovered that UPL, which housed several sorts of chemicals, was operating illegally. The eThekwini Metro also failed to get a critical risk assessment and planning clearances.

According to a report produced by Minister Barbara Creecy following an environmental disaster inquiry, United Phosphorus Limited did not have the environmental license to operate its Cornubia chemical factory near Durban.

However, Creecy claims that the chemical spill and fire were the worst environmental disaster in modern years.

The Ohlanga tributary, the Umhlanga estuary, and Durban’s northern beaches all lost a lot of marine species. She claims that research suggests that the entire ecosystem, which has been impacted along the coast, could take years of recovery.

The minister stated that beaches in the area remained closed, and that subsistence and recreational fishing, as well as the use of any marine life resources in the area, were prohibited.

UPL has been the subject of a criminal investigation, according to Creecy. She says that they discovered UPL was operating illegally, and that when the riots occurred, the required measures were not done.

In a statement issued, UPL stated that it would react to claims of non-compliance in the proper channels as soon as possible. It stated that for the time being, it intended to focus on the clean-up and restoration efforts.

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