news 12 Feb 13

Bosnia Urged To Cut Pollution From Refinery

After Croatia raised an outcry over the pollution from a Bosnian oil refinery, the Bosnian authorities and the oil company have promised to act.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

Bosnian and Croatian officials met in the northern Bosnian town of Brod on February 11 to dicuss concerns over pollution from a refinery that is affecting the neighbouring Croatian border town of Slavonski Brod.

“I have been assured that the deadline... to reconstruct the system of filering waste gases is 2015,” Mihael Zmajlovic, the Croatian Environmental Minister, said.

Investments in the refinery have to match the highest environmental standards in order to guarantee citizens' health, he added.

The Croatian town of Slavonski Brod and the Bosnian town of Brod are separated by a river border and activists in the Croatian town have long been complaining about alarming emissions that pose a threat to their health.

Bosnian Foreign Trade Minister Mirko Sarovic said the two governments would soon sign an agreement on protection of the environment, adding that the refinery had improved in the past few years.

Slavko Scepanovic, representative of the company Optima, which runs the refinery, noted that some 70 million euro will be invested in curbing pollution from the refinery by 2017.

He said that while green organizations from Croatia were accusing them of poisoning them, the emissions were not so high as to cause negative effects to the people's health.

The refinery in Brod is 80 per cent owned by NefteGazInkor of Russia. Small shareholders own the other 20 per cent of shares.

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