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Pollution caused by a Chemical Factory in the Westphalian town of Iserlohn (1839-1852)

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III. Letter of the Landrat, June 1852

Iserlohn, June 5, 1852
Concerning the Stark chemical factory at the bleachery here in Iserlohn

As ordered, the factory owner Herr Ludwig Stark appeared and made the following statement in the course of his response delivered here at the District Office on the 27th of last month:

1. I oblige myself herewith to completely move my chemical factory from the bleachery by April 1 of next year, and to entirely and definitively cease any manufacturing of chemicals in the present location at the bleachery by April 1.

2. I furthermore oblige myself to completely pay for the damage that was done by my factory and that may be done in the future; moreover, to engage in the manufacture with all due caution, especially to observe in detail the precautionary measures demanded by the Royal Government for the handling of nitric acid; and it goes without saying that I will not manufacture any product for which I do not have permission. I will begin with the preparations for the move as soon as I have the license I am seeking, and will undertake these preparations vigorously.

However, should the license in question be turned down unexpectedly, it would be self-evident that the declaration I made above under 1 . . . *, since I would then have no location to which to move the factory, and in this case the government’s decree from the 5th of the previous month would take effect again and would have to be implemented.

I request that the statement I made above be presented to the complainants by way of explanation, and that it be transmitted to the Royal Government in due course.

Read, approved, and executed
signed Ludwig Stark,
signed Schütte, Landrat

* Word is illegible in original document.

Source: StAM Kreis Iserlohn, Landratsamt 242.

Reprinted in Franz-Josef Brüggemeier and Thomas Rommelspacher, Blauer Himmel über der Ruhr: Geschichte der Umwelt im Ruhrgebiet 1840-1990. Essen: Klartext Verlag, 1992, pp. 125-28.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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