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Czech firms release fewer carcinogenic pollutants, Spolana more

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Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) – The chemical works Spolana Neratovice in Central Bohemia released substantially more environment pollutants year-on-year in 2014, while the overall quantity of pollutants released in the Czech Republic slightly decreased, Arnika NGO announced yesterday.
Spolana Neratovice defends itself saying it it meets all pollution limits set by law.
According to the data firms themselves report to the Integrated Pollution Registry (IRZ), the Prague and Brno community waste incineration plants also released more dioxins last year.
However, Arnika considers it positive that the overall quantity of carcinogenic, reprotoxic and mutagenic substances reported by polluters to the registry slightly decreased year-on-year in 2014.
Central Bohemia has kept a leading position of polluters for two years.
While the quantity of released substances that harm water organisms and dioxins decreased most substantially of all monitored pollutants, the incineration plants in Prague and Brno raised the quantity by about one third compared with 2013.
Arnika spokesman Vratislav Voznik said it is dangerous that the mixture of ashes and dust from incineration plants is also used in building cycling trails.
Spolana released four tonnes of these substances more than in 2013. It reported the release of a quantity of mutagenic substances with a negative impact on human health which was bigger than what all other firms together released, Arnika said.
In 2014, Spolana released almost 41 tonnes of carcinogenic substances or substances with this potential, which was some 4000 kilograms more than in 2014.
Spolana released 4.5 tonnes of carcinogenic vinyl chloride, which is substantially more than before. “This was the biggest quantity in the 11-year history of reporting to the IRZ,” Arnika chairman Jindrich Petrlik said.
In reaction to him, Spolana general director Karel Pavlicek said Spolana is the only company in the Czech Republic that uses the given method of trichlorethylene processing.
“In addition, we are the country’s only producer of caprolactam, which is why we naturally figure on the list [of biggest pollutants] repeatedly,” Pavlicek said.
Spolana meets all limits that are set by law and are binding nationwide. It takes a responsible approach to the environment, a proof of which is, for example, its regaining of the Responsible Care certificate in September,” Pavlicek said.
He said the company has successfully pursued the goal of minimising emissions.
It plans closing down its amalgam electrolysis section and changing its energy operation concept and thereby reduce its emissions of mercury, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Compared with 2013, the emissions of mercury into the air and surface water have been reduced by 30 and 52 percent, respectively, and sulphur dioxide emissions have been reduced by 24 percent, Pavlicek said.
“We are open to cooperation with Arnika. Last time we cooperated on an analysis of the Labe River pollution in the Spolana plant’s vicinity, which we released in August 2015,” Pavlicek added.
Arnika also presented yesterday a new map application that people can find on and that highlights polluters in particular localities. The map, created by 17-year-old student Vojtech Stanek, offers data on the period from 2004 to 2014.

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