Germany has ordered the closure of two German chemical plants, saying they were not adequately prepared for the chemical industry’s strict new regulations.
Germany’s environment minister, Christiane Wahlberg, ordered the closures of two chemical plants in the western city of Essen, in western Germany, and one in the southeastern city of Karlsruhe.
The two plants were found to have not adequately met the new requirements set by the European Union, Wahlburg said in a statement.
The chemicals will be replaced by new chemicals which will be approved for sale, the German ministry said.
Chemical industry workers, however, were reportedly seen on the streets of Essens city centre on Friday evening, chanting slogans calling for the closure.
Wahlberg said the closure had been imposed to ensure that Germany had adequate chemical plants ready for use, while also safeguarding the environment.
The government is also investigating whether the plants were used for the production of asbestos, she added.
Germany will introduce a new regulation on the use of asbestos in October, following complaints by environmental groups.
A statement by the government said the chemical plants were not used for any purpose other than the production and storage of the products that are being used.