Romania: Waste Spill - Feb 2000
Local communities in the Tisza River basin have recently been confronted with several serious toxic spills and ecological disasters along the river. Regional scientists, within a NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project, have therefore started to develop a monitoring system to increase the chances of predicting environmental crises and improving disaster response.
From one disaster to another
The Hungarian government filed a lawsuit on 27 April against the Austrian-Romanian company responsible for a major cyanide leak last year that poisoned fish and flora in three rivers, AP reported. Aurul, the company that runs the gold mine in Baie Mare, Romania, at which the cyanide spill occurred, has refused requests by Hungary to settle the claim outside of court. The lawsuit, filed in Budapest, seeks 28.59 billion forints (some $102 million) for the damage caused to tourism and the ecosystem, and for the rehabilitation of poisoned areas along the Danube, Szamos, and Tisza rivers.
A law firm representing the Hungarian government
has demanded in a letter that the "Aurul" mining company in Romania
transfer 29 billion forints ($100 million) to the Hungarian state treasury
within 15 days as compensation for the damage caused by last year's Tisza
River cyanide pollution. The firm threatened a lawsuit unless "Aurul"
complies with the demand and installs safety equipment, "Magyar Hirlap"
reported on 14 March. MSZ
=A9 2000 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This Report constitutes the response of the International Task Force for Assessing the Baia Mare Accident (the Baia Mare Task Force or 'BMTF') to the tasks given to us by Commissioner Margot Wallström, with the support of the Environment Ministers of Hungary and Romania, concerning the accidents which occurred at Baia Mare and Baia Borsa in Romania, in January and March 2000. These tasks were to consider:
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Brussels, 23.10.2000 - COM(2000) 664 final
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION
The Danube pollution caused by a cyanide spill following a damburst of a tailings pond in Baia Mare/Romania and an accident that occurred in 1998 in Aznalcóllar/Spain where a damburst poisoned the environment of the Coto Doñana National Park have increased public awareness of the environmental and safety hazards of mining activities.
STRASBOURG, 29.09.2000 - The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly today stressed the need for coordinated European policies to prevent accidents causing environmental damage and ease their consequences for the ecology and human health.
By David Greedy, Special to The Christian Science Monitor
The Tisza River has been called the "heart and soul" of Hungary. Petofi Sándor, the country's most-beloved poet and author of the national anthem, spent years drawing inspiration from its beauty and wildlife.
But following a series of disasters, there were dire predictions for the Tisza.
Visiting Australian Deputy Environmental Minister Roger Beale on 23 June told Hungarian Environmental Minister Ferenc Ligetvari and government commissioner Janos Gonczy that his country is offering 300,000 Australian dollars ($177,000) to ameliorate the damage caused by the Romania-based Australian Esmeralda company when cyanide spilled into the Tisza River in January.
Press Release IHA/706
By Jeremy Bransten
For use by the media only; not an official document.
A combination of design faults, inadequate operating conditions and bad weather contributed to the 30 January cyanide spill in Romania, according to a just released report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Press Release ECE/ENV/00/4
By Sandor Peto
BUDAPEST, April 9 (Reuters) - Water levels fell in eastern Hungary on Sunday after the worst floods in years, but work continued at full speed to strengthen dams amid warnings of fresh flooding, government officials said.
An emergency flood alert is in force along the Tisza river and its tributaries after heavy rains and melting snow. Traffic routes have been closed by water and more than 100 people have been evacuated.
The Environmental Ministers of Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary met in Budapest on 3 April to sign an agreement on preventing future transnational ecological disasters. The four countries will pinpoint potential sources of ecological damage, involve international experts in damage assessment, and form joint monitoring teams.
SPILL OF LIQUID AND SUSPENDED WASTE AT THE AURUL S.A. RETREATMENT PLANT IN BAIA MARE
United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP /
Some 10,000 tons of lead residue has spilled into the Rivers Vaser and Viseu, tributaries of the Tisa (Tisza) River. The incident was caused by the Aurul company in Baia Borsa that was responsible for the cyanide spill in early February. The company failed to notify the authorities of the spill, which occurred on 27 March during heavy rainfalls that resulted in the breaking of a five-meter stretch of a dam, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau and Reuters reported. Samples of water from the Tisa show lead is 2.7 times over permitted levels.
UNEP PRESS RELEASE - FOR USE AS INFORMATION. NOT AN OFFICIAL RECORD.
Mugur Isarescu on 20 March submitted his country's medium- term economic strategy for joining the EU. On returning to Bucharest from Brussels, Isarescu said the strategy was well received but now "we must prove we can also apply it with perseverance." Foreign Minister Petre Roman is presenting the strategy on 21 March to the Romanian EU Association Committee.