Biolars promises to clean up areas in Zemgale polluted with hazardous chemical

  • 2019-06-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

JELGAVA - Biolars, a chemical plant based in the central Latvian town of Olaine, is promising to clean up the roadsides and fields in Zemgale that have been polluted with a hazardous chemical, with the cleanup works expected to cost an estimated EUR 400,000, representatives of the Jelgava regional department of the State Environmental Service informed at a news conference today.

The State Police has established that the motor vehicle whose driver on May 24 was caught pouring chemicals onto roadsides in Zemgale had just left the Biolar plant. The company’s lawyer Viktorija Jarkina confirmed the fact, but said that the tank did not belong to Biolars. The company denies any connection with all 20 instances of environmental pollution.

The State Environmental Service’s head Elita Baklane-Ansberga said that in line with the law, it is for the operator of the hazardous waste, in this case Biolar, the do the cleanup. The State Environmental Service and VentEko company estimate that the cleanup works might cost up to EUR 400,000.

Although Biolars does not admit its responsibility for the chemical pollution in Zemgale, the company is ready to clean up the polluted areas, as its reputation has been severely damaged, Jarkina said.

As reported, in late May, the State Environmental Service inspectors and police officers detained a polluter who had intentionally leaked chemical substance on roadsides in Zemgale region.

The State Environmental Service received complaints from local residents about pollution with unknown substances on roadsides in a number of counties in Zemgale, and two days later detained a person whose vehicle had leaked the chemical substances in Jelgava and Bauska counties in a distance of several kilometers. A criminal process has been launched.

According to initial assessment, the substance is cyanide ions originating from Olaine chemical plant Biolars.

The State Environmental Service’s representative Maruta Buklevica told LETA earlier that so far there are no concerns about damage to human health, but residents were asked to be cautious and avoid the polluted roadsides.

The State Environmental Service issued a decision-warning about partial suspension of operations of Olaine chemical plant Biolars – suspension of manufacturing of the chemical porophor.

n line with the legislation, a warning is the first step of the suspension process. the State Environmental Service’s inspections have discovered grave violations in management of hazardous waste – residue of different chemicals. The company has been violating the regulations in a long term.

“The goal of the warning is not to actually suspend the company’s operations, but to give a clear signal that significant changes are necessary. Inspection results show that Biolars has been ignoring the environment protection regulations in a long term. The amount of hazardous waste that can be stored in the company at the same time has been exceeded 40 times and they have been stored inappropriately,” said Baklane-Ansberga.