Reyðarfjörður is still not rid of fluoride – much of it in grass that animals eat – being emitted from a nearby aluminium smelter.
RÚV reports that continuing research around the Alcoa smelter has shown that there are still high levels of fluoride in grass and hay growing near the smelter. While levels are high, they are within what is considered suitable for consumption.
As reported, fluoride emissions from the smelter exceeded safe limits last summer, prompting the company to send warnings to area farmers that hay grown in the region may have been poisoned. Geir S. Hlöðversson, the managing director of environmental matters at Alcoa, told reporters that the unusually high emissions were due to malfunctioning machinery.
However, the Environment Agency of Iceland (UST) believed aluminium company Alcoa failed to properly supervise its own emissions. They contended that malfunctions could have been prevented, if required inspections had been conducted. While crediting the company with its fast response to the fluoride emissions, it nonetheless emphasised that the company is ultimately to blame for skipping necessary checks on its own machinery.