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Alarming values of dust particles in Stanari

The results of independent monitoring of air quality in Stanari, as of July this year, show some alarming hourly values of harmful dust particles in the air coming from close proximity to the mine and thermal power plant, stated in the report of CEE Bankwatch Network created in partnership with Center for Environment. The measurement was performed with an automatic meter, not far from the open-pit mine and thermal power plant in Stanari.

The highest dust concentration in Stanari in one hour, measured on July 17, amounted to 828 micrograms per cubic meter (µg / m3), although the legal provisions allow an average 24-hour value of 50 µg / m3, and the highest permissible value in 100 μg / m3 during the day.

“According to many studies, the short-term impact of dust on human health is as worrying as it is long-term. Frequent jumps in dust emissions for this reason can pose a serious threat to the health of residents in Stanari, even if we exclude it’s chemical composition. The Rulebook on air quality limit values in Republic of Srpska does not treat dust limit values ​​in one hour, but only average daily values. Unfortunately, the local population is very aware of the impact of these particles on their health and the symptoms may include respiratory irritation and infections”, claims Majda Ibraković, assistant at Energy and Climate Change Program.

The monitoring was performed during summer at the home of a local resident who pointed out that they were struggling daily with piles of dust and noise coming from the mine.

“Sometimes, especially when it’s windy, dust is being 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 air quality in the nearest settlement to major industries for the purposes of health and environment. This monitoring system should have real-time publicly available data so that the population can be informed in a timely manner and undertake safety measures in times of high pollution.

“Local citizens are seeing and feeling the worsening of the environmental conditions in Stanari, but in spite of their increasing concerns, the national and local authorities are not taking any action to provide continuous monitoring of pollutants – let alone work on some improvements. It is outrageous that authorities are not even considering monitoring air quality near all this industrial activity, when it should be of highest national priority.” – pointed out Davor Pehchevski, the Balkan Air Pollution Campaign Coordinator in CEE Bankwatch Network.

For more information including results and graphics, see this link.

17.09.2019.