Arnika on Integrated Pollution Register: the Register is good, but the data are not

30.9.2005 - Prague

Today, the Integrated Pollution Register was made available to the public in the Czech Republic for the first time. It contains concrete data on releases and transfers of hazardous substances from the individual companies to the environment. Its final presentation can be found on the internet page http://www.irz.cz , operated by the CENIA agency. "We were pleasantly surprised by the presentation of the Integrated Register. It contains, at the first attempt, majority of essential information, and, in particular, a good search system, so that you can easily orient therein. Probably the only missing thing is arrangement of companies according to the amount of released substances," praised the chairman of the Arnika Association, Jindřich Petrlík, DSc, the new Register.

The Arnika's campaign Toxics Free Future contributed significantly to maintenance of the Register in Czech legislation in 2001 - 2003, in spite of repeated efforts of industry to cancel it. This was successful, apart from other things, thanks to a petition supported by 9320 people. Although presentation of the Integrated Pollution Register meets good standards, this cannot be said about the presented data, whose reliability should have been verified by the Ministry of the Environment. „Certain data are absurd at first sight,“ criticised Petrlík. „I speak, for example, about the data according to which Válcovny plechu, joint-stock company, Frýdek-Místek, should release to air 6.7 kg of dioxins. If this were really true, Frýdek-Místek would be a dead town for a long time already. In the whole country, 179 grams of dioxins is produced yearly. Similarly, information that Spolana Neratovice company has zero amount of mercury in wastes is hardly believable,“ added Petrlík.

The published data also confirmed the assumption of Arnika that notification thresholds for some substances are set so high that, according to them, even the biggest polluters need not notify the amounts of released chemical substances. Highly hazardous hexachlorobenzene was not notified by any company. Similarly, any data on brominated flame retardants (PBDE) are missing, although they were found in breast milk of Czech women already. "In the case of these substances, and a number of others, there will be necessary to adjust the notification thresholds to meaningful levels. The too high notification thresholds probably caused that information into the Integrated Pollution Register was reported by a low number of plants - 871 only. This means that only a fraction of polluters is recorded. We were surprised, apart from other things, by the fact that the problematic plant of the Spolchemie company in Kralupy nad Vltavou does not figure among the companies," sums up the objections to the present Integrated Pollution Register the Arnika's Press Agent Marek Jehlička. "In spite of these drawbacks, the today's publication of the Integrated Pollution Register means a big progress in informing the public on toxic pollution," concluded Petrlík.

In order that the public better orient in the Integrated Pollution Register, Arnika prepared special web pages. These pages represent a kind of guide to the Integrated Pollution Register. People can find here, for example, detailed information on effects of the individual chemical substances on human health and the environment.

 


Arnika - Toxics and Waste Programme - Marek Jehlička

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