The greatest polluters of the environment: Chemical, metallurgic and power plants

16.10.2007 - Prague

In 2006, chemical, metallurgic, and power plants have polluted the environment most heavily. Chemical plants gained higher positions in the index than in previous year and squeezed out e.g. power plants. In previous year robust polluters have burdened the environment with far more mercury than in 2005. In contrast, however, an amount of reported atmospheric formaldehyde emissions has been decreased by seven tonnes. It emerged from an Integrated Pollution Register (IRZ) data analysis which has been drawn up by NGO Arnika for the third time.

“Henceforward, Severomoravské hutě have held a predominant share in polluting the environment, followed by ČEZ coal-fired power plants in Ústecký region. From regional point of view there are installations from Moravskoslezský and Ústecký region among top-ten. Followed by Středočeský region,“ RNDr. Jindřich Pertlík, a head of NGO Arnika´s programme Toxic and waste, summed up the results of rating.

He remarked that current IRZ analysis brought also a pleasant surprise. “Several installations, which have rapidly reduced harmful substances emitted, have disappeared from the most robust polluters rating. Concern e.g. Tusculum Rousínov or Brisk Tábor. Although it has a leading position in rating of the biggest polluters with carcinogen substances, likewise DEZA, a.s. Valašské Meziříčí has cut down the amount of these substances, as well as the second Ivax Pharmaceuticals, s.r.o. We are glad that Register appears to be an efficient tool which motivates undertakings to decrease a quantum of emissions emitted,“ Petrlík mentioned.

Unfortunately, this is not true for all installations in the same way. For instance Spolana Neratovice or ČEZ in Prunéřov has even increased their share in environment pollution, as well as several other ČEZ power plants (e.g. power plants in Tušimice). Between the greatest polluters´ top-five, listed on the basis of diverse impacts on human health and environment, Mittal Steel, an Ostrava’s metallurgic giant, appeared most frequently. It is, for instance, the greatest source of reprotoxic carbon dioxide and the second greatest polluter emitting persistent organic pollutants, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PBC), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Some of these high levels may be attributed to a merger with Vysoké pece Ostrava, a.s. which had reported to IRZ separately last year.

When drawing up the index of the greatest polluters Arnika stemmed from data served as a basis for public accessible Integrated Pollution Register for year 2006 available at (available in Czech language). Current index is enlarged by mutagenic substances and aqua organisms’ harmful substances. In 2006 the highest amount of mutagenic substances was produced by Spolana Neratovice and Jihlava´s Kronospan. Lovochemie Lovosice and pulp-mill Mondi Packing Štětí, which belong to the top-ten polluters emitting substances harmful to aqua organisms.

From industrial sectors´ point of view, except the above-mentioned chemical, metallurgic, and power plants, cement-mills, incinerators, installations for the manufacture of building materials or plastics used to appear at the top of index. Among them the producer of musical instruments has appeared because of using potentially carcinogenci trichlorethylen in substantive amounts.

“The register has proven a workable and desirable tool to inform public about dangerous substances emitted by installations into the environment. Nevertheless, limitations had been prepared under pressure of industrial lobby. By virtue of the support of mayors and representatives from regions, cities and municipalities, and more than sixteen thousand signatories of petition The Future without Poisons these limitations have been prevented from, and the Chamber of Deputies is going to discuss new act on IRZ this week. For public that one preserves the right to free access to information about how much and which substances are emitted by which installation into the environment. Pursuant to a new EC Regulation the number of substances in IRZ will increase from 72 to 93 from following year,“ Petrlík told.

The greatest polluters´ assessment is a very complex process when number of technical aspects has to be taken into account whose scope cannot be simply described in a press release. For better understanding of assessment criteria we may recommend website (available in Czech language) where Arnika outlines full IRZ analysis including explanation of techniques used. “When selecting substances we tried to stem from generally recognized evaluation of particular substances´ effects. By their virtue either indexes of substances are enacted or evaluation by recognized expert institutions, eventually profiles of these substances are made public on IRZ website,“ RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík illustrates techniques used.

Here you can find indexes of the greatest polluters in Czech Republic here.

In following weeks Arnika is going to make public index of the greatest polluters in particular regions in Czech Republic. Insofar as you'd like to compare trends in pollution by particular installations or particular regions, you can find out indexes from previous years at (available in Czech language).


Arnika - Toxics and Waste Programme - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International activities