Bosnia and Herzegovina: Alarming air pollution by harmful dust in Stanari13.Oct 2019.
The results of an independent measurement of air quality in Stanari as of July this year show alarming hourly values of harmful dust particles in the air coming from nearby mines and thermal power plants, the report of CEE Bankwatch, made in partnership with the Center for the Environment, concluded.
The measurement was performed by an automatic measurement tool not far from the surface mine and the thermal power plant at Stanari.
The highest dust concentration in Stanari in one hour was measured on July 17, amounted to 828 micro grams per cubic meter (µg / m3), although the legal provisions allowed an average 24-hour value of 50 µg / m3, and the highest permissible value in 100 μg / m3 was reported daily from the Environmental Center.
“According to many studies, the short-term impact of dust on the human body is as worrying as long-term one. Frequent jumps in dust emissions for this reason can pose a serious threat to the health of a resident’s population, even if we exclude its chemical composition. The Rule-book on air quality limit values in Republika Srpska does not deal with dust limit values in one hour, but only average daily values. Unfortunately, the local population feels the impact of these particles on their health, and the symptoms are respiratory irritation and infections,” said Majda Ibraković, an assistant at the Energy and Climate Change Program at the Center for the Environment.
The measurement was done in the summer at the home of a local resident who pointed out that they were struggling daily with a pile of dust and noise coming from the mine.
“Sometimes, especially when it’s windy, dust is felt in the air and is noticeable on cars and other objects. Currently, only one truck with water is circulating around the mine, but during hot summer days this is nowhere near enough,” said our interviewee, who wished to remain anonymous.
The EU Air Quality Directive requires continuous monitoring of the air quality in the nearest settlement, adjacent to large industries for the purposes of health and the environment. This monitoring system should have real-time publicly available data so that the population can be informed on time and take safety measurements in times of high pollution.
“Citizens are noticing and feeling the deteriorating environmental conditions in Stanari, but despite growing concern, authorities are taking no action to ensure continued monitoring of pollutants, let alone work to improve the existing situation. It is unacceptable that the authorities do not consider the air quality control system near this power plant and the mines at all, and that should be a priority,” said Davor Pehchevski, Balkan Air Pollution Campaign Coordinator at CEE Bankwatch.