The Prosecutor’s Office of the National Court has opened proceedings to investigate possible environmental responsibilities in the situation of the Doñana national park. This is not a criminal investigation, but an administrative one, which seeks to “guarantee the adoption of the necessary measures” to comply with the ruling that the EU Court issued in 2021 referring to the protected space.
That ruling indicated that one of the “significant causes of environmental deterioration” in Doñana was the “abusive and illegal extraction of groundwater.” These extractions entered fully into the political debate when the Andalusian Government of the popular Juanma Moreno proposed a new law that, according to environmentalists and the opposition, covered these extractions.
The decree of the chief prosecutor of the Court, Jesus Alonso, expressly mentions the matter. He cites a letter from the European Commission to the EU Parliament “concerning the risk of regularization of 750 hectares of illegal irrigation,” which “could infringe EU law.”
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the proceedings opened this Thursday “are intended to be able to demand environmental responsibility from companies and professionals, public or private, that are proceeding to collect groundwater affecting the protected area of Doñana, without administrative concession or at higher flows. to those permitted”.
For the moment, and together with the Special Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Ministry has requested expert reports from Seprona and different organizations. The prosecutor of the case, Manuel Campoy Miñarrorequests information “on the significant adverse effects that such illegal extractions may have regarding the ecological, chemical and quantitative state of the masses of surface or groundwater concerned, as well as the possibility of achieving or maintaining the favorable state of conservation.” of the habitats or wild species concerned”.