The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association reported main contractor Marti AS and subcontractor Risa AS for serious systematic environmental crime and fraud in connection with the construction work at Ryfast, E02 Solbakk.
In connection with the construction of a public transport terminal on a filled-in area at Solbakk in Strand municipality, Rogaland, oil separators and several pipes filled with oil and oily sludge were found, among other things. This should have been removed and delivered to an approved reception. Instead, the contractors have chosen to dig over and hide the environmental sins.
What makes this case extra serious, in addition to the large scale, is that the contractors have secured financial gain by failing to handle the special waste correctly. This has clearly been done systematically and for financial gain, and with a clear intention to conceal it.
The clean-up on one side alone was estimated at one and a half million.
The contractors have thereby broken §§ of the Pollution Act 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 34, 38, and 39. Furthermore, the offenses are covered by §§ of the Criminal Code 371, 372, and 374. The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association has requested that the companies be punished in accordance with §78, as well as that they are subject to corporate penalties, in accordance with §§ of the Criminal Code 27, and 28.
Such environmental crime is very unfortunate for society. In addition to the risk of pollution, there is the fact that by digging up environmental pollution, the contractors can calculate a financial gain/saving. In a tender situation, an unculture can therefore be created among the tenderers by planning such eco-criminal savings in order to win the tender round. At the next tender project, such environmental crime therefore becomes very tempting for unscrupulous players, while honest and orderly companies tend to lose out on price.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has a special responsibility to ensure that such environmentally criminal unculture does not gain a foothold in a tender process when the lowest price is the only criterion for awarding a contract. Quoted; Statens vegvesen Region west, Rv 13 Ryfast, E02 Solbakktunnelen, B Competition rules and qualification requirements, B3 Requirements for tenders and special competition rules (2012-12-15):
5 Basis for awarding a contract, foa § 22-2
The award of the contract takes place on the basis of the lowest price.
There is no occasion to make alternative offers.
The Norwegian Environment Protection Association expects the Sør-west police district to give this case a good and thorough treatment. At the same time, society is expected by the public prosecutor's office to give the business(es) a thorough criminal response so that this type of intentional environmental crime and deception will not destroy businesses that operate legally by undercutting other serious actors in the tender process with environmental crime factored in.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is following this matter up closely.
Stavanger Aftenblad: Environmental disclosure in Ryfast has been reported to the police (subscription)