Norwegian firms "not complying" with regulations

80% of environmentally significant companies in violation of at least one rule, says official agency

Eight out of ten environmentally significant companies inspected by the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) last year were found to be in violation of at least one environmental regulation, the SFT says in a report published today. The authority targeted 330 companies chosen in accordance with "a risk-based control strategy" aimed at identifying those most likely to face internal or external environmental problems, SFT's Joakim Lystad told ENDS Daily. "Because we select the companies we most want to control, they must not be seen as a statistical representation of Norwegian industry", he added. Inspection categories included general health and safety provisions, operating procedures, handling of chemicals and hazardous waste, and emission and transport controls. Levels of emission to air or water were found to have been exceeded in 49% of 93 companies investigated in those categories. The results indicate that "storage, transport and handling of environmentally hazardous substances is still not good enough in Norwegian industry," Mr Lystad said. But he added: "The commercial sector has adopted a totally different attitude to environmental issues during the past ten years. Businesses know that if they look after their environmental obligations they will strengthen the overall quality of the enterprise. They often see contact with us as an opportunity to work out the best environmental solutions."

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