\In a statement sent to Lusa, the Castelo Branco Territorial Command explains that the situation was detected through the Environmental Protection Unit, on 24 June, following a complaint.

According to the information, the military "found that the discharge was coming from a food processing industry that carried out the illegal discharge of effluent directly to the ground through a storage pond, next to the water line there in Ribeira Caia, a tributary of the River Zêzere, without any kind of mechanism to ensure its purification.

"Following this action, a notice of administrative offence was drawn up, which was forwarded to the Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente, I.P. / Administração da Região Hidrográfica do Centro, punishable by a fine that may amount to 144,000 Euros," he adds.

The GNR stresses that it is "strongly committed to raising awareness and ensuring compliance with the legal and regulatory provisions regarding the conservation and protection of nature and the environment".

They also add that any environmental questions or complaints should be addressed to the SOS Environment and Territory Hotline (808 200 520), which is permanently on duty.