Mi­mosa fac­tory re­opens, in­ves­ti­ga­tions still on track

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON -

BEIRUT: The Mi­mosa San­i­tary Pa­per Com­pany re­opened Fri­day based on a judge’s de­ci­sion after hav­ing been closed for al­legedly pol­lut­ing Zahle’s Ber­dawni River.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the In­dus­try and En­vi­ron­ment min­istries at­tended the re­open­ing, and fac­tory work­ers could be seen cel­e­brat­ing in TV news cov­er­age.

In a tele­vised news con­fer­ence, Wis­sam al-Tan­nouri, who owns the Mi­mosa fac­tory, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude for the ju­di­ciary’s de­ci­sion.

“Mi­mosa re­opened, and I wish to thank the ju­di­ciary ... which cleared our name from ac­cu­sa­tions,” Tan­nouri said.

De­spite Tan­nouri’s com­ments, how­ever, the case has in fact not been closed: A ju­di­cial source told The Daily Star that in­ves­ti­ga­tions will con­tinue into Tan­nouri and the fac­tory, and that Mi­mosa will be mon­i­tored for any en­vi­ron­men­tal vi­o­la­tions re­lated to the river.

Now that the fac­tory has re­opened, ex­perts will have ac­cess to it in or­der to as­sess the qual­ity of the nearby sur­face wa­ter and lo­cal sewage net­works.

The Li­tani River Au­thor­ity has ac­cused the Mi­mosa fac­tory of dump­ing “im­prop­erly treated” in­dus­trial waste into the Ber­dawni, which is a trib­u­tary of the Li­tani River, re­sult­ing in its dis­col­oration. The fac­tory was shut down in De­cem­ber be­cause of the al­le­ga­tion, and Tan­nouri was de­tained for nearly two weeks. He was re­leased last month after an ap­peal from the river au­thor­ity to keep him in jail was re­jected. –

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