Associations France Nature Environment and Sépant assign companies Cosea (group Vinci), and DTP (a subsidiary of Bouygues) before the tribunal de grande instance for many of the environmental impacts during the construction of the high speed line South Europe Atlantic. The first convictions were handed down in September 2016.
The construction of the HSL South Europe Atlantic (SEA) between Tours and Bordeaux has been less exemplary than expected. Two officers of subsidiaries of Vinci and Bouygues had already been sentenced to fines of more than € 40,000 by the court of police of Tours in September 2016, for “execution of works which are harmful to water“. Associations France Nature Environment (FNE) and the Society for the study and protection of nature in Touraine (Sépant) persist in assigning, on Thursday 29 June 2017, the two companies before the tribunal de grande instance of Nanterre for “multiple abuses of the environment resulting from serious defects of control at the building site“.
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The judgment of 2016, as reported by the AFP, notified that “the character reiterated the lack of knowledge of the regulatory requirements, a few weeks apart, are indicative of a lack of effective consideration of environmental issues involved in the making of such a site“. The minutes were the lack of sanitation facilities of the water and laying defective means intended to protect fish and amphibians. Jérôme Stubler, chairman of Vinci Construction, the companies present in the consortium Cosea* (designer-builder of the SEA) are affected, we explained, last December : “I made the point with the teams and there has been an incident. On a part of the project – sub-contracted to Bouygues – the authorization of a retention basin is not arriving fast enough and there has been a flow of sludge to the river. But these are the muddy waters of a basin, not a pollution with hazardous materials…“.
The environment still not compensated
Cosea said to himself astonished by “the disproportion of the blame” in the face of this incident in the Indre-et-Loire as the project stretches about 340 km in length, and more than 200 people had been mobilised on the issue of environmental protection. The group claims the creation of 1,000 basins of water retention and 138 mares compensation for damage not preventable. Insufficient measures to FNE, which highlights the delay in their implementation still scheduled for the 1st of July 2017. The companies defend themselves by stating : “They are well advanced : at the June 15, 2.252 hectares have been validated by the State, 456 ha are in the instruction, of 1,252 ha are identified and in the process of being finalised“. They feel that they have completed an exemplary project, while Michel Dubromel, president of FNE denounces “the greenwashing that surrounds the work of this scale“.
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The plaintiffs are claiming the joint condemnation of Cosea and DTP (a subsidiary of Bouygues, specializing in work on linear and ground infrastructure with high added value), “for the elect to see that there is a difference between discourse and reality” and that “this project does not happen as well as the said Cosea“. They ask this time 50,000 euros in damages and interest.
* Cosea : consortium that associates Vinci Construction (driver), Eurovia and ETF, Vinci Energies, Systra, Inéo Rail