Environmental disaster in the east: Toxic waste still pollutes local sludge bed

Substances from the sediment basin may contaminate water in local wells and endanger people’s lives, an analysis warns.

Members of the Za našu vodu organisation present their findings about the Poša sediment basin on August 25, 2020.Members of the Za našu vodu organisation present their findings about the Poša sediment basin on August 25, 2020. (Source: TASR)

Toxic waste continues polluting the Poša sludge bed in the Zemplín region in eastern Slovakia. It is being discharged by the nearby chemical plant, even though it should not be happening.

"Analyses show that there are relatively new contaminants in the sediment basin, which confirms that the sewage water treatment plant in the Chemko Strážske chemical company is still releasing toxic chemicals that contribute to the already widespread burden in this area," the Za Našu Vodu (For Our Water) civil association said.

The permission for Chemko Strážske to discharge substances into Poša, situated in the so-called death triangle between the eastern Slovak towns of Vranov nad Topľou, Humenné and Michalovce, was valid until 2015, with the possibility of extending it by three more years. However, the reality is different, according to the association.

Worry about people's lives

"This permit must be revoked immediately and the inflow of toxic substances into the basin must be stopped," Za Našu Vodu said.

The discharge of toxic water into Poša continues despite the objections of local mayors, added the organisation, which claims that the companies Chemko, Chemlon and Bukóza are responsible for this environmental disaster.

“The biggest polluter was Chemko Strážske, which has been polluting almost the entire Zemplín region with its polychlorinated biphenyls waste for decades,” the organisation added.

Related articleBratislava’s Istrochem is a chemical time bomb Read more 

In addition, there are worries that substances from the sediment basin may contaminate water in local wells and endanger people’s lives.

Call for decontamination

Za Našu Vodu has already notified the Environment Ministry and other respective authorities, asking them to take action, stop the pollution of Poša with more chemicals and put it on the list of sites that must be immediately decontaminated.

Environment Minister Ján Budaj (OĽaNO) pledged that the first steps have already been made, the TASR newswire reported.

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