The Pontevedra river hosts two very polluting companies which have been dumping their waste into the river for many years: ENCE, a pulp mill and biomass energy producer and ELNOSA, a chemical company which produces chlorine-derivatives. There are 963,511 potentially affected people (local population of Pontevedra). These companies were supposed to leave the river by 2018, but the Spanish government extended the permission to stay for another 75 years.
Several organisations working together under the name “Asociación por la Defensa de la Ría de Pontevedra” (APDR) have been trying to stop these companies polluting the river and to recover the affected area through public campaigns, demonstrations, official complaint letters and petitions as well as lawsuits. There were about thousand protestors against the decision of extending the permission for the companies to remain in the area.
The APDR defends a model of sustainable development based on the rational use of sea and forest resources, and a tourism model not based on the idea of a mass tourism.