Press release
Agreement with environmental association

K+S and BUND agree on further improvements for the Werra and Weser rivers

The discharge of saline water from K+S potash production into the Werra river will gradually decrease by the end of 2027. This is stipulated in the discharge permit issued by the Kassel Regional Council, which has been in force since the beginning of 2022, but against which BUND Hessen has filed a lawsuit and initiated an urgent motion. After intensive negotiations, the Company and the environmental association have now reached an agreement to achieve improvements for the Werra and Weser rivers and bring part of the legal dispute to an amicable end.

As part of this settlement, K+S undertakes in particular to optimize the discharge of saline water under the existing discharge permit from the beginning of 2024 in such a way that the FFH area between Philippsthal and Heringen is relieved - in addition to the gradual improvement already planned. For this part of the water body between the discharge points Hattorf and Wintershall, BUND and the Company have agreed on compliance with an additional target value for chloride of 600 mg/l at the sampling point at the Wintershall entrance. Furthermore, K+S has given a binding commitment to comply with even stricter requirements for mineral concentrations at the Gerstungen gauging station than those stipulated in the already tight specifications of the official permit.

BUND withdraws urgent motion against discharge permit

“In intensive and always trusting negotiations, we jointly succeeded in finding a good solution for the further relief of the Werra and Weser rivers and for safeguarding the discharge,” explains Dr. Burkhard Lohr, Chairman of the K+S Board of Executive Directors. In addition to filing a lawsuit in principle against the discharge permit with the Kassel Administrative Court, the Hesse branch of BUND had also applied for the enforcement of the permit to be suspended until the facts of the case had been finally clarified. BUND will now withdraw this application for interim legal protection.

“With the agreement, we are following up on the settlement with BUND on the premature termination of the injection into deep rock strata,” recalls Lohr, Chairman of the K+S Board of Executive Directors, and adds: “Even then, we proved to be a reliable partner. We are pioneers for environmentally friendly mining and want to continue working together with BUND to improve the water quality of the Werra and Weser rivers.”

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Marcus Janz
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