K+S and the BUND (Federation for Environment and nature Conservation Germany) have agreed on a settlement after intensive talks at management board level. Assuming a normal water flow of the Werra, K+S will renounce up to one million cubic meters of the deep-well injection volume approved for the next four years, and will also not submit any new application for injection after the current approval expires at the end of 2021. In return, the BUND will withdraw its suit and the emergency petition based on it against the existing injection permit.
“We are convinced that environmental protection and value creation are compatible in the domestic raw materials industry,” says Dr. Burkhard Lohr, chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft. “We will further reduce the effect on the environment of potash production, and will at the same time successfully continue the commercial use of our deposits in the Werra potash district, with which far more than 4,000 jobs are involved. I am very happy that we have found a sustainable solution for both of these in the settlement with the BUND.”
With the withdrawal of the suit and the emergency petition by the BUND, K+S receives legal security for its existing injection permit and will in return, as of 2018 until the currently approved deep-well injection runs out at the end of 2021, not exhaust a considerable part of the permitted injection volume.
The settlement also allows the parties to lay a foundation for further cooperation. Judicial disputes are to be avoided as far as possible in the future. K+S and the BUND are both concerned to clear up any contentious issues, taking mutual interests into account. There will therefore be a closer dialog between them. As Dr. Lohr concluded: “The talks held with the BUND have taken place in an atmosphere of great trustfulness.”