Improvement of the environmental protection in MB “Kolubara” successful realization of the Action plan

, Mining

The ESAP (Environmental and Social Action Plan) envisages that the contractors and subcontractors engaged in the project meet the requirements with respect to environmental protection, OHS. Two more documents are on the way, the development of which is entrusted to the branch “Project” and the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia

Apart from financing the project “Improvement of environmental protection in Kolubara coal basin” the loan proceeds from the loan granted by EBRD, according to the loan agreement, were used to finance the “Environmental and Social Action Plan” — ESAP, which has been developed and almost entirely implemented by now, in addition to the “Stakeholders engagement Plan” – SEP. What remains unfinished out of the 22 items laid in the ESAP refers to the item 2 of the Action Plan – development of the Program for implementation of measures to mitigate the impacts in connection with the OPMs Field “C” and “Tamnava West Field”, preparation of monitoring requirements by the branch “Project”, and making the Cadaster of flora and fauna.

– Preparation of this document, which is entrusted to the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia, is a specific task requiring year-round engagement, which is exactly the reason for its current incompleteness. Nonetheless, we expect the developer to soon finish and deliver the study – says Ms. Gordana Tomašević, MSc, who is a member of the PIU team for the project implementation.

As a reminder, when EBRD were reviewing the application for loan proceedings from the so called green line, it required a detail analysis of the existing documentation and project activities in MB “Kolubara” (OPMs) as well as to make acomparison and harmonization with the environmental protection and social policies of the Bank. The Action Plan that was made in the respond, covers a program of the impacts mitigation measures, aimed at preventing, mitigating or mineralizing impacts of the project on the environment and social impacts, as well as measures for enhancement of the existing environmental protection systems and operations performances.

The activities performed under the ESAP included preparation of Initial report for Field “C” (contains the program and action plan for environmental protection and the budget envisaged), defining mitigation measures that were to reduce the project impacts throughout the project life, implementation of the SEP so to ensure that discussions held and remarks considered are documented, personswere appointedfor the contact with the local community and to assist the stakeholders when they submit remarks. Also, the information relevant for the project and the activities thereof were made available to the company employees, and an official appeal mechanism was established so the claims could be lodged to the management.

Furthermore, we have earlier established the Human resources management policy that is now in force and that is in line with EBRD policy, and it was also ensured that the contractors and subcontractors engaged in the project meet the requests concerning environmental protection in accordance with the national regulations and relevant requirements of the Bank. The plan for industrial waste management at Field “C” is also in place and risk assessment studies that cover hazardous matters management and occupational health and safety and possible dangers for the community affected by the project.

Under the Action Plan, MB “Kolubara” shall, within the 12 months counting from the day of signing the contract with EBRD, organize a new training of the employees with an intent to improve safety at work, and resume the review of mining inspection report to determine main causes for the fatal accidents at work in order to develop procedures for implementation of correction measures concerning fatal and other accidents. Furthermore, MB “Kolubara” shall take care that the occupational health and safety procedures are observed by the contractors as well as to perform the necessary updates with the regard thereof. Also in this segment of ESAP, according to Ms. GordanaTomašević, all scheduled activities went according to the plan.

– In the previous period, the SEP team (formed at late October last year to perform the task of implementing Stakeholders engagement plan and to monitor ESAP realization), in collaboration with the Operations manager and the Project coordinator, has successfully responded to all the requirements set by the EBRD Consultant (and Independent expert of the Bank as it was the case with the claim lodged by the LC (local community) and Ecological Society of Vreoci) and certain ambiguities were eliminated through direct contacts or correspondence, so the project has been completely realized in these segments – says Ms. GordanaTomašević.

S. Mladenović

Source; RBK