La Boverie lime quarry affecting Tridaine water source, Belgium


Description
There is a project of deepening the existing quarry of "La Boverie" by drilling 60 meters more profoundly. As a result this will partially destroy the existing groundwater table from which flows an important source of water (called 'Tridaine') providing drinkable water (without energy just by gravitation) to the city of Rochefort (approx 7000 households). In addition, this water is used by the Brewery of the Abbey of 'Notre de Saint-Remy' nearby Rochefort. The brewery makes a Trappist beer labelled "Authentic Trappist Product" (only ten beers in the world can have this label). The brewery and the abbey are part of cultural heritage of the region. As compensation, the firm Lhoist Industries, who operates the quarry, offers a technical solution by paying the installation of a collection of pumps in order to pump the water from more profound aquifers. The firm justifies this project in order to be able to maintain its activity until 2045 (instead of 2023) and so the 103 jobs that it creates directly. In October 2013, Lhoist has received the permit to lower the level of the water table below the level of the Tridaine source. Following the appeal of the abbey against this permit, the minister of environment of the Walloon region has removed the permit previously given to Lhoist Industries. Lhoist is currently in appeal against this decision in front of the Conseil d'Etat (Council of State, the highest level of administrative jurisdiction). Lhoist has also appealed against the decision to declare the source as protected area. All stakeholders are now waiting for the decision of the Conseil d'Etat.
Basic Data
NameLa Boverie lime quarry affecting Tridaine water source, Belgium
CountryBelgium
Province Namur Province
SiteRochefort
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific Commoditiescalcareous material (lime)
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
According to Lhoist webpage (http://www.carriere-boverie.be/le-contexte-du-projet) 1.325.000 tons of calcareous stones of great purity are annually extracted and treated to obtain an annual production of 400.000 tons of lime of high quality.
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Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population7000 households approx
Start Date04/09/2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesLhoist industries from Belgium
Relevant government actorsLocal (municipality of Rochefort), regional (regional government) and national levels (Conseil d'Etat)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersA committee gathering several citizens from Rochefort and Marche-en-Famenne and several local NGOs (Natagora Famenne, Colibris Famenne, Les Naturalistes de la Haute-Lesse, Transition, Cercle Historique...) has been created to protest against the project of extension of the quarry. The Trappists monks of the Abbey of 'Notre de Saint-Remy' nearby Rochefort works in cooperation with this commitee to protect the Tridaine source .
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingNeighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Abbey "Notre Dame de Saint-Remy" and Brewery of Rochefort, Citizens committee of Tridaine (citizens and local NGOs), thousand of citizens have signed the petition against the project
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Soil contamination
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of AlternativesLhoist offers in compensation for the loss of the Tridaine source a technological pumping system to provide water to the city of Rochefort and to the Trappist Abbey. This solution entails many ecological and technological uncertainties as well as questions about the cost of operating and maintaining such a system on the long run. If the site closes in 2023 Lhoist for the moment has not offered conversions possibilities (change in career) or any other solutions for the 103 employees working on this site.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Sources and Materials
Links

Comité citoyens Tridaine facebook
[click to view]

Comité citoyens Tridaine
[click to view]

Sauvez la tridaine
[click to view]

Media Links

Debate about the Tridaine case with Ricardo Petrella
[click to view]

Meta Information
Last update25/02/2015
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