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MAL fined HUF 135 bln for toxic sludge flood

Hungary's government has fined alumina maker MAL HUF 135.1 billion for environmental damage caused by a toxic sludge spill at its reservoir in Ajka (NW Hungary), the Rural Development Ministry said on the government's website on Wednesday.

MAL must pay the fine within 15 days, however it may also file an appeal with the national environmental protection authority within 15 days from the time it receives official notice of the resolution.

A flood of toxic sludge from a reservoir that ruptured at MAL's plant last October killed ten people and damaged hundreds of homes. It required the clean-up of some 800 hectares of farmland, the farm minister's commissioner for the project said earlier.