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MAL to face fine of HUF 10 bln for red sludge disaster

A record fine amounting to over HUF 10 billion will be imposed on alumina producer MAL Zrt for the red sludge disaster the company caused in October, 2010, state secretary of environmental protection Zoltán Illés told wire agency MTI.

“MAL will have to face the maximum fine by all means, and it will have to pay for all environmental elements that have been polluted,” Illés said, referring to the fining procedure that takes the damages in the water, air and also in the soil into account. The exact amount of the fine will be determined in cooperation with the National Inspectorate for Environment, Nature and Water later this week.

On October 4, after a dam broke at MAL Zrt’s base near Ajka, toxic red sludge flooded three towns killing ten people. Hundreds of houses have become uninhabitable and hectares of agricultural territory have become useless. Damages caused by the disaster are estimated to reach up to billions of forints.