Tonnes of dead fish were found near Challerange, 50km (31 miles) from Reims, in the Aisne river . According to the local prefecture, the deaths were due to a decrease in oxygen levels in the water.
The pictures, gotten from Fédération de pêche des Ardennes:
Michel Adam, president of the Ardennes Fishing Federation, said they have lodged a complaint against Nestlé France for pollution and violation of article 432.2 of the environmental code.
- damages amounted to several thousand euros
- Everything died in an area seven kilometres (4.3 miles) long and 30 metres wide
- Some 14 species have been affected, including protected species such as eels and lamprey.
- He’d never seen pollution of this magnitude in 40 years with the federation.
Volunteer fishermen and firefighters have been working to clean up the river. A dam had also been installed to contain the spread of pollution.
Origins of Pollution
The river is close to a Nestlé factory manufacturing powdered milk. And while the origins of the pollution are still being determined, Nestlé confirmed that there had been “occasional and involuntary overflow of biological sludge effluent, without the presence of chemicals” from its wastewater treatment plant on Sunday evening.
Factory director Tony do Rio said that they immediately stopped production and put an end to the spill when they learned of the report on Sunday at 23:00 (21:00 GMT). The spill was a “one-off [and lasted] less than three hours on Sunday evening”.
I have to point out here that this means they noticed the pollution but didn’t do anything until reports of the dead fish came to them.
How the Fish Might Have Been Killed by Oxygen Depletion
This is by no means official, since this is taken from a Reddit comment.
“Powdered milk is manufactured with a physical process rather than a chemical process, so it seems likely that the spill contained excess nutrients from the milk rather than toxic chemicals. This probably caused a bloom of microorganisms which depleted the oxygen and killed the fish.
Milk powder is manufactured by spraying milk through a misting nozzle into a heated chamber where the water evaporates off and the milk falls to the floor as powder where it is collected. No hazardous chemicals involved, just heat.”
Additionally, suspended milk fat and other particles can also clog the gills of fish.
If the above made you hate Nestle and you want more reason for doing so, you might want to consider looking at the r/FuckNestle subreddit for more news of Nestle doing shitty things.