Victory in Spain

January 24, 2011

Dear friends,

Years of hard work have paid off!  Residents of Murcia, in southeast Spain, have suffered for years -- pungent emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from an asphalt roof manufacturing plant were making them sick.  Just days ago, Murcia's High Court ruled that the ASSA plant must clean up its act!

ELAW partner Gines Ruiz, wrote: "This is a final ruling, which acknowledges the violation of fundamental rights through air pollution and noise...  I'm thrilled!"

Gines is an attorney with Aja! (Association for Environmental Justice), based in Murcia, in a fertile agricultural region on the Segura River known for oranges, lemons, and vineyards.

ELAW scientists worked with Gines to design air quality tests for benzene and other carcinogenic VOCs in the vicinity of the plant.  Meche Lu, ELAW Environmental Research Scientist, prepared reports and an affidavit about the health impacts for local communities.

Congratulations to Gines and everyone at Aja!  for persevering and winning!


Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

P.S.  ELAW is working with partners around the world to protect communities and the environment.  Learn more about our work by visiting our blog: ELAW Spotlight.  We're also on Facebook and Twitter.