The Court of Appeal imposed fines on Finn Spring Water for environmental damage

The Court of Appeal imposed fines on Finn Spring Water for environmental damage

The Vaasa Court of Appeal ordered two food companies to pay fines of several thousand euros for causing environmental damage in Central Ostrobothnia.

Finnish spring water production giant Finn Spring and protein bar manufacturer Leader Snack have been prosecuted for several years for inadequately treated wastewater from their facilities, which has violated environmental permit conditions and polluted the environment.

Finn Spring was ordered to pay EUR 40,000 in corporate fines and EUR 250,000 in damages to the state at its Toholammi and Lestijärvi mills.

Leader Snack will have to pay EUR 15,000 in corporate fines and EUR 50,000 to the state for the pollution of its Toholammi plant, which is located in the same yard as Finn Spring.

The district court dismissed the case and acquitted the companies of all charges about a year ago, but the prosecutor and ELY appealed the verdict.

The company’s bosses were charged

Finn Spring’s CEO and Chief Administrative Officer have also been sentenced to earnings-based daily fines for environmental damage.

A fine of 60 days, ie EUR 8,100, was imposed on the President and CEO and a fine of EUR 4,880 on the 40 days.

The CEO of Leader Snack was also fined 40 days, equivalent to € 2,280.

The court found that the company’s managers had failed in their duty to ensure that wastewater was properly treated and did not cause problems in accessing the surrounding ditches and waterways.

According to the court, the managers also failed to take into account the environmental impact of the factories’ operations.

According to the results, there was a clear connection between the outlet pipes of the plants and the growth of sewage in Lestijärvi and Toholammi in recent years. Excessive sugar in wastewater was identified as the primary cause of fungal growth, which caused significant contamination.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Finn Spring ‘s operations as a whole were grossly negligent, as the company had to monitor the sugar content of its wastewater, which had already exceeded the permitted quantities on several occasions in 2005-2019.

Based on the findings, the water manufacturer did not have an appropriate wastewater plan or an adequate understanding of the risks of the release of sugary water into the environment.

The defendants in the district court case were Finn Spring and its indoor swimming pool, Lylyn Pisara, Leader Snack and beverage maker Bullberry. Bullberry, which has since gone bankrupt, has not yet been convicted.

In the first case, the prosecutor had demanded a total of EUR 650,000 in fines from Finn Spring and a total of EUR 210,000 from Leader Snack.

Source: The Nordic Page


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