Skip to main content

Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands

Surfrider joins legal action against polluter Tata Steel, who deliberately pollutes waters in close proximity to surf and bathing area’s of Wijk aan Zee

Summary of the situation

Surfrider Foundation Europe is concerned by the water contamination caused by the exploitation of the Tata Steel factory in Ijmuiden that affects the marine environment and the health of the surfer and bather community we commit to protect. We think the steel company violates licensing regulations and deliberately dumps hazardous materials into the air and water.We believe that the repression of this criminal behaviour and the application of the polluter-pays principle will help ocean’s protection by challenging the violation of environmental laws and reducing the existing gap between the law and its implementation.

The defenders

Our local chapter, Surfrider Foundation Holland Coast has joined the complaint of lawyer Bénedicte Ficq that represents a collective of concerned citizens.

Environmental status

The chapter has frequently received reports from surfers with nausea, itch, irritation after surfing Wijk aan Zee. There is proof of high levels of heavy metals and other chemicals in the nearby marine environment, and due to high levels of air pollution, beaches and waters are contaminated in the area.

Legal context

The steel company has exceeded licenses and regulations on several occasions by emitting dangerous substances into air, soil and water in a populated and frequently visited area. Therefore the environment and the health of individuals is at risk. Which is punishable by Dutch criminal law, article 173a. We request that leaders of the organisation are held responsible.

Our request

Our request is that Tata Steel will reduce their water pollution and become compliant with the European, national and regional rules of the law, to protect our community.