A CAMPAIGN by citizens of the western Slovak town of Pezinok to halt construction of a waste dump in their town suffered a severe blow on August 18. The Slovak Environmental Inspectorate turned down all appeals by the town of Pezinok and by civic activists and ruled that a waste dump can be built only 400 metres from the town centre, the Sme daily reported.
The verdict means that the chances of blocking construction of the waste dump, which is at odds with the town’s master plan, are now slim.
The town or the activists could turn to the courts, but construction of the waste dump, which will also handle garbage from a wide surrounding area, is almost complete. Any court verdict would be likely to take years, by which time the waste dump would already be in use, the daily wrote.
In its verdict, the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate did not address the most important point
raised by the appellants, that the waste dump is being constructed in contradiction to the Pezinok town master plan.
It said that it does not regard its role as being to interfere in the decisions of other state bodies. Earlier this year, the Regional Environmental Inspectorate in Bratislava had authorised construction of the waste dump.
Lawyer Zuzana Čaputová, of the civic initiative The Waste Dump Does Not Belong in the Town, described the verdict as “a disappointment in particular for thousands of Pezinok citizens, who fought for their rights”.
According to her, the verdict of the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate sends a dangerous signal to all citizens that “even though justice is on our side and our will is unambiguous, representatives of the state do not care”.