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Report: Dutch Chemical Facilities Frequently Violated Safety Rules

A Dutch newspaper investigation reportedly found that more than half of companies that handle hazardous materials in the Netherlands violated safety rules in the past two years.

A Dutch newspaper investigation reportedly found that more than half of companies that handle hazardous materials in the Netherlands violated safety rules in the past two years.

The report from de Volkskrant, according to the English-language Dutch News, reviewed documents from inspections of 400 chemical companies or other facilities classified as "major risk" by the government.

Between 20 and 25 percent of all companies committed violations classified as "serious to very serious," and production was stopped at five companies over that span in order to avert a potential accident.

The report also pointed to two particular chemical leaks. In 2015, nearly 28 metric tons of ethylene oxide leaked from the Shell petrochemical complex in Moerdijk, while more than 2,700 kilograms of formaldehyde was released from DuPont's facility in Dordrecht last year.

Ira Helsloot, a policy professor at Radboud University, told the de Volkskrant that although many of the violations were due to "superfluous rules and paperwork," companies in transportation, storage or other low-margin sectors in the country "are cutting corners and hiding it well."

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