Pollution from hog farming in Leiria, Portugal

Pig farming leads to troubling levels of pollution in the Lis basin.


<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Hog farming in Portugal is mostly located in the basin of the river Lis, Leiria District, which is known for its high level of pollution. The Lis basin occupies 850 km2 and is constituted by the river Lis (length 40 km) and its tributaries. It receives annually the equivalent of 2 million human fecal discharges in organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus contained in the swine waste that are released almost entirely in water supplies.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Portugal has 2 million pigs, of which 45% are in Ribatejo and Leiria concentrating 1/3 of the total in this region (equivalent to 15% of the national total) with highly specialized exploitations with an average of 200 animals each, the second production region is the Alentejo with 25% and the third the Beira Litoral, with 21% of pigs.<br/><br/>In 1971 discussions about the existence of pollution in Lis began and in this year the first survey of the causes of its pollution were held. Several causes of pollution were listed, including sewage discharges, slaughterhouse discharges and swine. In the late 1970s, the pollution in the river Lis had worsened and became publicly known.<br/><br/>The pollution episodes - with the occurrence of discharges of effluents and deaths of fishes occured repeatedly. Sewage activity was considered responsible for the most relevant impacts.<br/><br/>In June 1987 a group of inhabitants of Carvide parish organized a petition with 365 signatures against pollution of the river Lis. In 1988, the press referred to the Lis situation as the "Disaster of Suinobyl" in reference to the Chernobyl nuclear power station. In the 90s, due to the increase of pollution and popular discontent was the Association for Environment Defense and Heritage of Leiria (OIKOS) was founded .<br/><br/>In 2002 and 2003, the most significant episodes of pollution in Lis occurred: for several days the water supply was cut due to contamination in the city of Leiria and a ban on bathing on beach Vieira, on the coast of Leiria, was put into force due to sewage pollutant discharges. These events led to the creation of a committee of local residents, the Commission of Environment and Defense of the Ribeira dos Milagres (CADRM), and to the establishment of Recilis, a company mostly composed by pig farmers in the region established to deal with and to treat the activity of effluents. In the following years, discharges continued and were denounced by the population, CADRM and Quercus, a national environmental association. The government announced a project to build a treatment plant for effluents from pig farming, which should have been operating by 2008, however, the project wasn’t implemented. Allegations of discharges of effluents continued and in 2008, OIKOS announced the results of a monitoring study about the Lis basin water which had been initiated in 1990: the level of fecal pollution was disturbing and the most problematic points were the Ribeiras do Sirol, dos Milagres and the Arrabalde Bridge (Leiria).<br/><br/>Since 2003, the EU has provided specialized legislation for the protection of pigs, especially related to the living conditions and feeding, legislation that should be implemented by all european countries by January 1st, 2013. Representing an investment of 200 EUR/animal, by mid-2013 only 75% of farms had complied with the new legislation. According to the President of the Portuguese Federation of Pig farmers (FPAS in Portuguese) the reason for the failure in implementing the legislation, is related to the high costs to be paid by swine farmers, estimated at 50 million Euros. However, it was expected that by September 2013, 100% of farms would have complied with the new regulations. In the meantime Portugal is required to pay fines to the EU for breaking the law. <br/><br/>In April 2010, Quercus held a protest near Ribeira dos Milagres, claiming for supervision and solutions to the swine culture pollution problem. New discharges were reported. In 2013, the government signed a protocol for the construction of a treatment plant in the region expected to be completed in two years.<br/><br/>In other locations in Portugal, populations suffering from the effects of swine culture pollution have also mobilized in opposition. In Póvoas and Rio Maior (Santarém) pollution caused by swine culture generated popular protests and was discussed in Parliament and in Castro Verde (Beja), where in the first 10 years of the 21st century attempts to expand hog farming met strong resistance from the local population, and they organized a petition to prevent the licensing of a company.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Pollution from hog farming in Leiria, Portugal </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/portugal">Portugal</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Leiria</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Ribeira dos Milagres</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/live-animals'>Live Animals</a><br /><a href='/commodity/meat'>Meat</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">~ 1400 hog farming activities with 150,000 hogs (~10% of the total hogs in Portugal).</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">Many are the hog farms owners operate in the area.<br/><br/> <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>85,000 (river Lis basin)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Semi-urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>300,000 citizens living near Ribeira dos Milagres</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>01/01/1988</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/recilis-tratamento-e-valorizacao-de-efluentes-sa'>Recilis - Tratamento e valorização de efluentes S.A. <small>(Recilis)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/portugal'><small>Portugal</small></a> - <small> Responsável por tratar os efluentes da atividade.</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Saneamento Integrado dos Municípios do Lis- SIMLIS (Integrated Sewage System of Lis's municipalities) <br/><br/>Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente - APA (Portuguese Agency of the Environment)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Comissão Ambiente e Defesa da Ribeira dos Milagres - CADRM (Committee of Environment and Protection of Ribeira dos Milagres ) <br/><br/>Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza - Quercus (National Association for Nature Conservation)<br/><br/>Associação de Defesa do Ambiente e do Património da Região de Leiria - OIKOS (Association of Environment and Heritage Protection - Region of Leiria )</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>Mobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Soil contamination<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Infectious diseases</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Loss of livelihood</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Loss of river beach, Impossibility of fishing </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The company Recilis was expected to solve the environmental pollution of the hog farming activity due to the protests, but no major measures have been taken so far.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Hog farming activities are still ongoing and the solution for the pollution has not yet been implemented.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Portaria n.º 631/2009 de 9 de Junho. Estabelece as normas regulamentares a que obedece a gestão dos efluentes das actividades pecuárias e as normas técnicas a observar no âmbito do licenciamento das atividades de valorização agrícola ou de transformação dos efluentes pecuários.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.drapn.min-agricultura.pt/drapn/conteudos/fil_legisla/Portaria_631_2009.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> FERREIRA, José, G. Saneamento básico: factores sociais no insucesso de uma política adiada, o caso de Lis. Universidade de Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Tese de Doutorado, 2012.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://repositorio.ul.pt/bitstream/10451/7502/1/ulsd063346_td_tese.pdf " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Duarte, E. D. Fragoso, R.; Carvalho, A. R. (2013). BATFARM Project: moving farms towards a cleaner rural environment. Seminário: A suinicultura e o ambiente.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://slideplayer.com.br/slide/1852308/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> VIEIRA, Judite dos S. Transformações biogeoquímicas na Bacia Hidrográfica do rio Lis. Universidade do Porto: Faculdade de Engenharia. Tese de Doutorado, Set. 2007.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/bitstream/10216/11660/2/Texto%20integral.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Anexo II.5. Stakeholders no processo de (des)poluição da bacia do Lis<br />FERREIRA, José, G. Saneamento básico: factores sociais no insucesso de uma política adiada, o caso de Lis. Universidade de Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Tese de Doutorado, 2012<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://repositorio.ul.pt/bitstream/10451/7502/2/ulsd063346_td_anexos.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> FERREIRA, José, G. Façam o milagre! Poluição, media e protesto ambiental na bacia do Lis.VII Congresso Português de Sociologia. Universidade do Porto: Faculdade de Letras; Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação, Porto, 19-22 Jun. 2012.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.aps.pt/vii_congresso/papers/finais/PAP0572_ed.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> FERREIRA, José, G. Saneamento básico: factores sociais no insucesso de uma política adiada, o caso de Lis. Universidade de Lisboa: Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Tese de Doutorado, 2012.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://repositorio.ul.pt/bitstream/10451/7502/1/ulsd063346_td_tese.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> GOMES, J. Milagres, suinicultura e poluição hídrica na agenda dos media. VII Congresso Ibérico sobre Gestión y Planificación Del Agua ¨Rios Ibéricos + 10. Mirando AL futuro trás 10 años de DMA¨, Talavera de la Reina, 16-19 Fev. 2011.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.uragentzia.euskadi.net/u81-0003/eu/contenidos/informacion/comunicacion_eventos/es_doc/adjuntos/ComunA6/04-Gomes.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> LISBOA, Ricardo Miguel. "Avaliação da Qualidade da Água e Fontes de Poluição no Rio Lis como Contributo para a Gestão Integrada das Águas Superficiais na Respectiva Bacia Hidrográfica",Dissertação de mestrado em Engenharia Química, Universidade do Porto, 2006.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/bitstream/10216/11963/2/%20Texto%20integral.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> News article. Diário de Notícias. Nova descarga poluente na Ribeira dos Milagres. 18 de fevereiro de 2013.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.dn.pt/inicio/portugal/interior.aspx?content_id=3058877&seccao=Centro" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> News article. RTP notícias. Defensores da Ribeira Milagres protestam contra poluição com cartazes, 15 de Abril de 2006.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.rtp.pt/noticias/index.php?article=29001&tm=8&layout=121&visual=49" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Vídeo Sic. Descargas de suinocultura em Leiria<br/><a class="refanch small" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjjwWXqY9N4" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/A_Suinicultura_Q1.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/A_Suinicultura_Q2.jpg" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Fracisco Fernandes, Lays Silva and Lúcia Fernandes</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>25/02/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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