Norwegian firms fined over acrylamide leaks

Fraud office holds Rhoca Gil producer, distributor, users, to blame for tunnel incident

The Norwegian authorities have imposed fines totalling over NKr5m (Ecu561,000) on three companies involved in manufacturing, using or distributing the acrylamide-based sealant compound Rhoca Gil (also marketed as Siprogel). Pollution scares associated with use of the compound in a major rail-tunnelling project linking Oslo to its new international airport at Gardermoen, 50km to the north of the capital, have been subject to over 30 investigations, most relating to environmental or health and safety issues (ENDS Daily 19 January). The fines were imposed by Økokrim, the national anti-fraud office. The tunnel is still months from completion, although the airport itself has been operating since earlier this month. Rhodia Norge, the Norwegian subsidiary of the French producer of Rhoca Gil, Rhêne-Poulenc, suffered the heaviest fine, NKr3m, for supplying inadequate information on the compound. Paus & Paus, a Norwegian distributor, was fined NKr1.5m for failing to warn contractors of the product's toxicity, and NSB Gardermoen, the company responsible for the tunnelling project, is to pay NKr750,000 for failing to apply for permission from the Pollution Control Authority (SFT) to use Rhoca Gil. The companies involved are considering whether to appeal.

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