Pollution is one of the great existential challenges of the Anthropocene Era and threatens the survival of human societies. Toxic air, water, soils, and workplaces cost 6% of global GDP. The deaths attributed to pollution are triple those from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Air pollution alone kills 4.5 million people every year. What can we do to reduce industrial air pollution in European cities? How can citizens enforce their right to live in a healthy environment?
Term: 19 - 22 November 2018
Conference venue: University of Ostrava, Aula OU, Českobratrská 16, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Here, you can find a chronological list of all presentations to the Ostrava conference with a brief abstract to each of them.
Industry, people and the environment
Impact of air pollution on human health
MUDr. Radim Šrám, DrSc. | Czech Academy of Sciences
Air pollution in the Northern Bohemia was from the 70’s one of the most polluted regions in Europe until scientific research helped to improve the situation, which significantly decreased cardiovascular mortality. Nowadays, the most air-polluted region in the Czech Republic is the Northern Moravia Region (NMR), leading to another study in 2013-2014. Scientists focused on the impact to pregnancy outcomes in the districts of Karvina (NMR) and Ceske Budejovice (Southern Bohemia, control, CB) observing the disturbance of metabolic pathways for immunity and CNS development as well as increased cases of toddler morbidity in Karvina. Even in 2017, the EU standards were exceeded in the Czech Republic (for 62 % of the population) which will affect the health status of the Czech population already in the next decades.
Technical and technological possibilities to reduce pollution from the steelworks – the story of Ostrava
doc. Ing. Petr Jančík, PhD | Technical University of Ostrava
Top ten largest polluters: Access to information as a tool in campaigns for clean air
RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík | Arnika - Toxics and Waste Programme
Legal, technical and personnel capacities of the government to fight air pollution
Mgr. Matěj Mrlina | Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
What is the legislative framework of the government's effort for healthier air conditions? The presentation mainly focuses on the legislation that deals with air protection, briefly mentioning international sources, European legislation and national regulations. Legal instruments in air protection can also be divided into groups. As such they will be introduced, especially the permissible levels and legal obligations together with conceptual, administrative, economic and special tools, all concluded with the technical part – the network of monitoring stations in the Czech Republic and their operation.
Implementation of the EU Industrial Emissions Directive in the Czech Republic
Mgr. Jan Kolář | CENIA, Czech Environmental Information Agency
Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) has been implemented into the national legislation of the Czech Republic in February 2013. The key principles of integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) have been set already in March 2002 by implementing the former IPPC Directive. Integrated permitting started in the Czech Republic in January 2003 with some specific issues of the IPPC process, including the role of CENIA, Czech Environmental Information Agency in this process. The new IED brought a different approach to the best available techniques (BAT) by setting the emission levels associated with the best available techniques in the BAT Conclusions.
The national air quality monitoring network in the Czech Republic
Mgr. Blanka Krejčí | Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ)
Data provided by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) together with further analytical information and services helps increase the quality of life in the Czech Republic through various controls, analyses and monitoring systems. The contributory organization set up by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic is involved in the drafting of national legislation concerning ambient air quality and participated in the preparation and revision of programs for air quality management and reduction of emissions. The panel will cover a number of topics - history, experience, legislative requirements, regional or cross-border cooperation as well as present polluters and hotspots in the Czech Republic.
The environmental disaster of ILVA-Taranto and violation of human rights
ITALY | Mariano Alterio | Peacelink
ILVA-Taranto is the largest steel plant in Europe and produces an enormous amount of pollution harmful to human health and to the environment. The Italian judiciary has repeatedly ordered the seizure of the plants. The Italian state has issued about 10 laws to save the company and to continue production. ILVA violates the right to life, the right to health and the right to live in a healthy environment of hundreds of thousands of citizens. The ILVA case can be called “occupational blackmail”: condemn themselves, their children and the entire territory, in which they were born, to die of pollution so as not to die of hunger.
Fighting with low stack and industrial pollution in small and medium-sized Polish cities
POLAND | Rafał Psik | Zagłębiowski Smog Alert
Poland as a part of EU did recently a lot of improvement in the reduction of emissions from Power Generation and Industrial sector. Still remains some industrial spots who are troublemakers for local communities, like coking plants, steel mils or paper productions. But mail pollution problem in Poland comes from coal, wood and waste burning at households. Over 50 % PM10 emissions and over 90 % of carcinogenic Bezo(a)pyrene comes from small burners at citizens houses across the country. Recently many local groups started activities to press the local and central government to take actions to improve air quality. Paper will describe air pollution current status in Poland as well as examples of local group actions in different locations in Poland.
The city where black snow falls
KAZAKHSTAN | Dmitriy Kalmykov | Ecomuseum Karaganda
Smoke over the valley of UNESCO monasteries, employment and tourism
ARMENIA | Oleg Dulgaryan | SOS Without Borders - Alaverdi
Alaverdi Copper Smelter Plant is one of the main industrial enterprises in the vastly polluted province of Lori, Armenia. The presentation will cover the environmental and social situation affected by the factory's operation as well as the activities of the 'SOS Alaverdi' initiative, its public perception and challenges in recent months after Armenian 'Velvet Revolution'. The new government balances between environmental and social problems in Alaverdi, facing a significant pressure of the factory management.
Rusting promises - always in the future tense
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA | DrSc. Samir Lemeš | Eko forum Zenica
For more than a century, Bosnian city Zenica was the metallurgical centre of the Western Balkans. The first attempts to cope with excessive air pollution were interrupted by the 1990’s war when the steelworks stopped its operations. Global steel giant ArcelorMittal acquired the factory in 2004 and restarted the integral steel production in 2008, promising that pollution will be decreased. However, these promises remained unfulfilled with various excuses instead of big investments. A local NGO spent ten years trying to enhance environmental protection and pollution reduction, organizing meetings, media campaigns, protest rallies, researches, lawsuits and litigations, participating in environmental permitting process and persuading financial institutions for stricter conditions for loans to the industry.
Experiences with tackling European public financing for ArcelorMittal
Pippa Gallop | CEE Bankwatch
The presentation will share CEE Bankwatch Network's experience of trying to ensure that a series of public loans to ArcelorMittal in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina were used to ensure real environmental and safety improvements on the ground. By uniting with groups from the recipient countries to ensure constantly updated information, Bankwatch pushed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to make sure that its loans were used for their intended purpose. The workshop will also share ideas about what new activities could be undertaken regarding international finance for heavy industry.
Air pollution in Ukraine
Monitoring and control of air pollution in Ukraine
Maksym Soroka | Dnipro
The report is devoted to the peculiarities of air monitoring at the local and national levels of Ukraine with the main problems of assessing the quality and safety of atmospheric air: the uncertainty of national legislation, the deficit of material and technical base, a limited list of environmental monitoring substances. The problems of air monitoring will be presented from different points of view – position of regulatory authorities, enterprises, local governments and the public. The presentation will discuss the mechanisms of formation and verification of statistical data about air pollutions in Ukraine as well as the unfair practices in hiding and minimizing emissions to the air. Lastly, the problems of public access to timely and reliable information on the quality of atmospheric air will be described.
Citizens campaign and tracking the health risks
Olena Reshetko | Kharkov
Having received information from activists of Dnipro and Zaporizhia, Olena Reshetko - a former accountant - began to look for information on the risks to public health from environmental pollution in the city of Kharkiv on her own since all approached authorities refused to take any part in such calculations. Using the data from the Kharkiv Regional Oncological Center, Reshetko managed to make the calculation, which showed a correlation between an occurrence of cancer-like diseases and the distance of people's accommodation from industrial enterprises due to being exposed to hazardous chemicals - hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, dioxin - from the Kharkiv Coke Plant and mineral wool plant Thermolife.
Cooperation with ArcelorMittal in a working group
Anna Ambrosova | Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih
The large industrial city of Kryvyi Rih in the centre of Ukraine is often nicknamed as the 'Steel Heart' of the country. The largest enterprise of the city is PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (AMKR). That it is the source of 80 % of emissions into the atmospheric air in the city, 40 % - in the Dnipropetrovsk region. After protests held in 2016, the AMKR's management had to start a dialogue with the public in order to avoid the conflict. As a result, a memorandum was signed between the coalition of public organizations called 'Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih' and the company. During the last two years, the coalition conducted an investigation into AMKR's violations of the Ukrainian legislation.
Involvement of experts in a public campaign
Iryna Pirogova | Zaporizhia
Activism and local politics
Maksym Borodin | Mariupol
Mariupol is a half-million city in which there are two large metallurgical enterprises of the Metinvest company, owned by the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov - Azovstal and the Illich Steel and Iron Works. Disregarding any sort of technological optimization the environmental situation in Mariupol deteriorated significantly in 2011-2012, causing caused a series of mass protests. As a result, Metinvest was forced to shut down part of the outdated enterprises and start with the modernization of the facilities. Despite this one-time victory, local activists lack political influence necessary for any further or even global environmental changes. Will they succeed in their goal changing the ecology of not only Mariupol but also other industrial cities of Ukraine?
Air pollution in Ostrava
Clean Skies - participating in Ostrava‘s air pollution solutions
Nikola Carić & Nela Římanová | Clean Sky Association
What pollutes the air in Ostrava? What can we do about it? And how the NGOs should try to resolve this topic? The presentation will provide an introduction to the field of work of the Ostrava based Clean Sky NGO and its recent activities. The presentation will cover the lowering of pollution possibilities.
Legal tools for fighting air pollution in the EU
Petra Andrášik | Frank Bold
The presentation will present tools in three EU directives which are key to tackle air pollution. We are going to look at the tools in Air Quality Directive, National Emissions Ceiling Directive and Industrial Emissions Directive. Some tools are going to be presented in more detail with an overview of results and best practice achievable with them. The presentation will also talk about infringement procedures and about Czech experiences with air quality protection cases.
Efforts of a steelmaker to minimize its environmental footprint
Tomáš Mosler | ArcelorMittal Ostrava
ArcelorMittal Ostrava, established in 1951, is a leading steel producer in the Czech Republic producing more than 2 million tonnes of steel annually and employing 6500 people. It takes a comprehensive approach towards reducing its environmental footprint, focusing both on water and air protection and waste minimisation. To minimise its air emissions, it installed greening technologies in 3 stages: in the 1990s, between 2008-2012 and between 2015-2016. Through the greening, the steelmaker has reduced its dust emission up to date by 99 % compared to 1980s, from almost 40 thousand tonnes to 379 tonnes in 2017. Emissions of PAU have reduced by 90 % since 2009.