Reader’s letter This is a debate entry, written by an external contributor. The post expresses the writer’s views.
Sarpsborg has received notice from the State Administrator of a fine of NOK 1 million on 31 December this year and a further NOK 20 million in fines on 31 December 2026 if the treatment plant is not put into operation.
Politicians wanted to stop the construction of the new treatment plant – after the work has started
There will be more reactions from the State Administrator if treatment plants are not put in order.
How did we end up in a situation where the State Administrator threatens fines?
An article in Fredriksstad Blad tells about the failed collaboration between the Labor Party in Sarpsborg and the Labor Party in Fredrikstad.
As I now understand this, the State Administrator has urgently requested that Sarpsborg and Fredrikstad should build a new joint treatment plant together. According to the article in Fredriksstad Blad, it would have been far cheaper for the residents.
Sarpsborg municipality has no other choice but to put a treatment plant in order as soon as possible.
If it is now the case that the process has gone too far and there is no longer any other possible alternative than expanding on Alvim, then it is of interest to know just that.
If it had cost NOK 1.5 billion to build a completely new treatment plant on the mountain (so even more than the 1,342 million that is now estimated), it would still have been interesting to consider it. This is especially so if one could then expect that there would be no more cost overruns on solid rock, while the plant at Alvim is located in an area with very poor ground conditions.
Gigantic cost gap
If the answer, on the other hand, is that a new facility on the mountain would have cost twice as much, i.e. NOK 3 billion, including the start-up that has been initiated at Alvim, then it would have been completely impossible.
In light of the latest announced cost increase that the city council is being asked to adopt, we wanted a clear answer as to whether it is now impossible and too late to nevertheless enter into a collaboration with Fredrikstad, or whether it is also completely impossible to consider another alternative.
If we are now to understand it so that this has been unequivocally established, then there is no other alternative than to complete the plant at Alvim as quickly as possible.
And should there subsequently be a landslide in the area, those who were under pressure from the State Administrator to complete the development, and who had no other choice, cannot take responsibility for it.