Unsecured Bauxite Deposit

7.12.2016 - Banja Luka

The stretch of land between several other industrial facilities and the property of the railways is visible from distance – shining with reddish colour of the Bauxite ore that is deposited here and loaded on the trains to further processing. 

The problematic part with the deposit is that the owner of this property is unclear and therefore there is not a person responsible for the whole business. The area is not secured against wind or water dispersion and the little particles of the ore spread to far and wide.

Three indignant lady neighbours decided to take action against this business in such format and they are demanding displacement of the business to a more suitable premises. For almost eight years they have been fighting against the polluters in their street and finally in the beginning of December 2016, with the help of Environmental law clinic, they succeed.

The citizens of this street took a series of actions, such as notifying numerous times the environmental inspector of violations of the Law on Environmental Protection and in June 2015 together with a local NGO Centre for Environment they filed a criminal complaint against the “Bauxite Mine” doo, where they indicated the company "Railways of the Republic of Srpska" ad Doboj (RSS) as one of related entities in a potential criminal offense.

Finally the environmental inspector of the City Administration Banja Luka has issued a Decision to the company "Railways of the Republic of Srpska" ad Doboj (RRS), which prohibits the storage of bauxite ore in Ložionička street. However this decision was delayed for 90 days by the former mayor of Banja Luka, Slobodan Gavronović in August 2016 who explained this act as not being against public interest. By this decision Gavrononić transfers the “hot potato” to the new mayor.

After the communal election in September 2016, the new city administrative finally ended the agony of residents by issuing decision to close down the illegal business without valid environmental permission. However, the fight is not ending as long as the storage of bauxite ore is not displaced to a more suitable premises and the whole area is not secured. 

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