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MAL to appeal HUF 135 billion toxic sludge fine

Hungary's MAL will appeal a HUF 135 billion fine for environmental damages resulting from a burst sludge reservoir at its alumina plant in Ajka (NW Hungary), the company told MTI on Thursday.

MAL will dispute the legal basis of the fine as well as its scale in the appeal, MAL lawyer György Ruttner told MTI. There is not a company in Hungary that would be able to pay a fine of that size, he added.

The Rural Development Ministry announced on Wednesday that the government fined MAL HUF 135.1 billion for environmental damage caused by a toxic sludge spill at its plant in Ajka (NW Hungary). A reservoir at the plant ruptured last October, sending a flood of red sludge through surrounding villages that killed ten people and damaged hundreds of homes. The event was Hungary's worst ever environmental disaster.