Cross border Croatia Bosnia environmental dispute, oil refinery in the spot

11. February 2013. / SEE Energy News

Croatia complained on BiH again with environmental claims. It claimed that air pollution in Slavonski Brod is caused by the work of oil refinery Bosanski Brod. Minister of Protection of Environment and Nature in Croatia, Mihael Zmajlović and representative of Drzavni Hidrometeorolški zavod (DHMZ) Sonja Vidić indicated on seriousness of the problem of air pollution in Slavonski Brod, but also met public with the steps it would take.

“The biggest problem in Slavonski Brod is that sulfur-hydrogen that is directly bonded with the emissions in the Refinery in Bosanski Brod. Medium annual value does not exceed estimated marginal value i.e. 5 micrograms with the mean value of 2 microgram.

Overburden is satisfying at some annual cut, but unfortunately there are frequent outbursts, 95 times per year, roughly said. Their density is highest in winter. That represents a problem to Bosanski Brod’s people because it happens when moisture is high and there is no wind. There is vapor in winter because Sava is big river. Slavonski brod and Bosanski Brod have same destiny, we cannot say that people from Bosnian side are in better position than people from Croatian side”, DGMZ Representative said and added that it is maybe even worse on Bosnian side, as some experts said, but they don’t dispose this estimations.

Vidić indicated that condition is bad because ‘one situation with negative smells and concentrations that are higher than they supposed to be is being spread’.

“If measured values are in the range of 50, 70 and 100 micrograms per cubic meter, it means that life quality in Brod is really ruined”, Vidić said.

Minister of Environment and Nature Protection Mihael Zmajović said that signing the contract between BiH and Croatia on international level through intensifying the working groups. Contract should be about the environmental protection, a request for acceleration of refinery modernization, education transfer and experiences in refinery modernization in BiH and Croatia. Minister warned that Croatia will activate international conventions’ mechanisms if these instruments don’t show an effect.

“We can have an influence on decrease of local polluting, and we’ll work in this direction”, Minister said and added that DHMZ are partly satisfied with measurements, but the level of sulfur-hydrogen is still extremely high, which cause is the refinery in Brod.

“Therefore, we insist on neighbor state to continue insisting on refinery modernization so that we could solve the problem permanently”, Zmajlović stressed.

Minister said that communication is being proceed on state level with Ministry headed by Minister Šarović when Anadolija journalists asked him to comment cooperation level between BiH and Republika Srpska and solving the refinery problem in Bosanski Brod.  Republika Srpska’s representatives are also included on operational level. Refinery is placed in Srpska.

Croatian Minister for Environment and Nature Protection emphasized that “they would like to see more experts from Bosnian side, and less policy representatives” and that would guarantee resolution to the problem.

“Not managing to harmonize the text from the last meeting record in two months shows how complex resolution to the problem is. We insist but we are not satisfied with expressed will from Bosnian side. Declaratively yes, but operationally I’m not satisfied”, Minister Zmajlović explained.

Source Anadolija/Serbia Energy SEE Desk

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