August 3, 2021

justice orders the state to act

“It’s a historic victory” for Alain Bonnec, president of Eau et Rivières de Bretagne, spearhead in the fight against green algae. Seized by the association, the administrative court of Rennes ordered the prefect of Brittany to take, within four months, new regulatory measures to fight against green tides.

In a judgment rendered on Friday, June 4, the court considers that a “Reinforcement of the actions implemented remains necessary in order to restore the quality of water in Brittany over the long term” and of “Prevent as much as possible the phenomenon of green tides”.

While rejoicing, Alain Bonnec deplored the ” wasted time ” in a press release: “So many millions of euros in“ green algae ”plans invested in vain for lack of sufficient regulation! “

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Degraded water quality

Present at sea in its natural state, green algae proliferate in Breton bays, where they are nourished by contributions of nitrates spread by farmers in the fields and the surpluses of which are transported by coastal rivers.

“The Prefect of Brittany himself admits, in defense, that despite positive results in terms of water quality, it remains degraded in some areas”, notes the court, which recalls that in 2018 only half of the watersheds had reached the objectives of “Good condition of the berries”.

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The court therefore asks the prefect to take measures to “Control of nitrogen fertilization and appropriate management of agricultural land” upstream of the beaches where green algae proliferate. In addition, he also orders the “Precise definition of a mechanism for implementing binding regulatory measures” in the event of failure of those encouraged by the plan to combat green algae.

A demonstration on Saturday in Lorient

These measures must be taken within four months of notification of the judgment to the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili. Questioned by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the prefecture of Brittany did not immediately follow up.

“We are now expecting the prefect to take more restrictive and more protective measures for water resources”, said Mr Bonnec. The association Eau et Rivières de Bretagne, which launched a campaign against green tides in May, is organizing a demonstration on this theme at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in Lorient (Morbihan).

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The World with AFP