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#LetsStopTheQuarryThatDefiesLogic

par TOURNAI-VILLEDIEU_ENVIRONNEMENT

Legal action to contest the Tournai-sur-Dive quarry license renewal and extension application

Legal action to contest the Tournai-sur-Dive quarry license renewal and extension application.

On 25 July 2018, our association, TOURNAI-VILLEDIEU_ENVIRONNEMENT (t-v_e), filed a writ of appeal in the Administrative Court of Caen to contest the Prefectural Order of 4 April 2018 authorising the extension and deepening of the quarry operated in the locality of Tournai-sur-Dive and in close proximity to the locality of Villedieu-lès-Bailleul (61), and the additional Prefectoral Order of 18 June 2018.

Orbello Granulats Normandie has operated a 9.5-ha quarry between the localities of Tournai-sur-Dive and Villedieu-lès-Bailleul since October 2013. In 2016 it applied to extend the quarry perimeter to a total area of about 60 ha and deepen it to 90 m over a period of 30 years. It’s tantamount to building 81 football pitches between the two localities...

Why do we oppose it?

Because it is A USELESS, DANGEROUS industrial project with irreversible consequences for our PLANET… for LIFE..

Our communities are located on a vein of Armorican sandstone rich in radioactive ores. The authorities have “Given” the operator authorization to extract the sandstone without any concern for the danger presented by the radioactivity. Even worse, the impact study conducted by consultants Geoarmor for Orbello Granulats Normandie, makes no mention of the presence of radioactive ores, the risks of polluting the water table with thallium in the quarry’s footprint. Despite the scale of the project, no survey or expert appraisals have been demanded by the authorities in spite of objections raised by the local inhabitants.

Our association asked research workers of the Pierre and Marie Curie University’s METIS Unit to analyse the impact study presented by the operator in support of its application to renew and extend the quarry. The scientists’ report highlights several omissions regarding the geological and hydrological characteristics of the site in the dossier and confirms the presence of radioactive ores and thallium in our sub-soil.


The radioactivity reading is close to the legal irradiation threshold for workers exposed to artificial radioactivity and much higher than the 1 mSv per annum threshold set by French regulations for radiological protection of the general public.

The company Orbello and the authorities have ducked several basic issues. The order’s enforceability has obliged us to call on specialists to argue our case in court.

Our court action should lead to jurisprudence that should prevent similarly USELESS projects from taking shape for no good reason.

Our PLANET will always find a way to defend itself, or raise the alert, with flooding, climate warming, earthquakes and many other natural disasters that it uses to warn us. But can we human beings, whose existence in the final analysis is so short, defend ourselves?  

A simple thought experiment has led us to raise legitimate questions. Tournai-sur-Dive and Villedieu-lès-Bailleul are in the heart of arable and livestock farmlands. Has a study been made of the pollution this type of operation may potentially wreak on our soil, air, or water that could endanger LIFE?

Wars are waged against an enemy. And this region knows more than a thing or two about wars. If the quarry extension goes ahead with the consequences we fear, then we citizens will be forced to go into battle again… this time against a company that using several arms, will destroy what we have taken considerable time to reconstruct.

We don’t want to be enemies with Orbello Granulats Normandie, but its surface and depth extension application is POINTLESS, and runs counter to the comfort of the neighbourhood, the health, security, public safety, nature, environment, landscape conservation, the preservation of our geological, archaeological, architectural and historical heritage.

On 12 December 2015 the text adopted by the 195 COP21 countries in Paris (ratified in the final instance by the European Union on 4 October 2016) signalled the start of a new era in the fight to PROTECT our planet. That is the only fight we support.

They will tell us that this industry is needed for construction. That’s right, but the number of quarries already in operation in the Orne is enough to meet demand, even enough to join in on the Greater Paris adventure. We are in the 21st century, so no project however grand it is should be achieved at the expense of villages and lives. The times are gone when slaves were left under the rubble and sands of the pyramids.

We will use all possible means to speak out against this USELESS project that endangers our Planet, with all life it harbours.

We have examined the case and have the arguments we need to make our voice heard in the courts...

What use will be made of the funds we raise?

We obviously fall into the category of victims of this project, along with many others, but we refuse to accept this victim’s role and will use all means to stop the project by taking any measures to contribute to its failure. It is true that we live in rural Orne, but this land is ours and we refuse to allow it to be destroyed for the benefit of a ruthless project that flies in the face of common sense.

We are already at work and conscious that the industrial developer will do anything to stop our actions and initiatives. So, we need moral support and also financial support to be able to pay the lawyers and experts.

Our team

The 7 founding members – Jessica, Pierre, Serge, Margarita, Françoise, Micheline, Valérie and Choto the pug – are leading this battle to preserve our environment, health, quality of life, flora and fauna, our heritage… together with our other members and the TRC firm of lawyers and consultants Carles & Associés. This pointless project puts our Planet, with all the life it sustains, in danger.

The Tournai-Villedieu_Environnement association sounds a cry of alarm from our villages and calls on your generosity in supporting us.

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