An organic mushroom farm accused of polluting the river

Water tinged with brown slicks, proliferating algae and a nauseating aroma. In Poilley, near Fougères (Ille-et-Vilaine), the buffer basin of the Poligone activity zone does not really make you want to linger there. If it is not intended to be a place for walking, this water reservoir seems to be struggling to fulfill its pollution control function. Because at the time of pouring into the Gerge, its waters are far from being pure and undoubtedly much too loaded with organic matter. The problem is that this pollution has been going on for several years and that neither the company located upstream nor the town seems determined to put an end to it. Prefecture ? She has been aware of the malfunction since 2020 but has not initiated proceedings. The Water and Rivers association has therefore decided to file a complaint in an attempt to move this case forward.

The alert arrived at the office of the environmental association at the end of May. , the situation has visibly “improved very slightly” thanks to the price of conservatory measures by the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine. But the facts are there. The quality of water in the buffer basin is degraded by daily discharges from the activity zone. Finally more precisely by the discharges of the mushroom farm. Established here since 2015, the Légulice company promises to be exemplary in environmental terms. She works organically and uses “no pesticides or chemicals” to grow her mushrooms, says the agency responsible for her communication. She specifies that she has “put in place a settling basin which is cleaned every 15 days”. And the problem of the buffer basin? “It belongs to Fougères Agglomeration. We have alerted it several times to the need to enlarge the buffer basin”, assure the leaders. The problem is that the company does not have the slightest sanitation system.

In Poilley, in Ille-et-Vilaine, a buffer basin is subject to recurrent pollution after the transfer of organic matter from a neighboring mushroom farm. – Water and rivers of Brittany

In the ranks of the community, we claim to be “concerned” by the situation. “There are undoubtedly organic discharges that are more substantial. We’ll have to clean the pool. But not as long as Légulice has not brought its facilities up to standard,” acknowledges Michel Balluais. The vice-president of Fougères agglomeration dedicated to economic development, however, wants to defend his institution. “They didn’t do what they told us. Initially, the buffer basin was to serve the entire area of ​​activity, not just their site. From the beginning, we alerted the company to the need to work on this point. We are not throwing stones at them but we must act, ”specifies the elected official.

Fougères Agglomeration owns the site, which it makes available to the mushroom farm under a financial lease. This contract, which runs for twelve years, provides for a gradual takeover of the factory by the Légulice company. After seven years of operation, the Lou brand therefore owns “more than 50%” of the facilities, specifies the community.

“A bit long” for Fougères Agglomeration

A design office has been requested by the mushroom producer and a solution should be provided “in the coming months”, assure the various protagonists. “A time that is a bit long”, according to Fougères Agglomeration, who specifies that “the rhythm of production does not pose a problem”. While acknowledging that the treatment of effluents “is not sufficiently dimensioned”.

According to Eau et rivières de Bretagne, “it will take years for the site to recover and return to good condition”. “Our association cannot understand such laxity on the part of the administration. How is it that in 2020, following the discovery of the malfunction of this industrial site, a procedure has not been initiated to bring the company back into compliance with the law? “Before recalling:” this pollution could and should have been removed. »

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