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Ministry fines firm for mistakes harming environment

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Ostrava, North Moravia, June 5 (CTK) – The Czech Environment Ministry has definitively imposed a 5.5 million-crown fine on the Geosan Group firm for its violation of rules in removing an old environmental burden in Ostrava and allowing a sulphur dioxide leak, ministry spokesman Matyas Vitik told CTK Tuesday.

Vitik said it is no longer possible to appeal the fine, which Geosan Group appealed once already this year.

Geosan Group did not stop working on the liquidation of an oil lagoon that has been left behind by a former chemical plant and it continued pouring lime in it though the volume of leaking sulphur dioxide repeatedly crossed the permitted limit, Vitik said.

The accident was unfriendly to the environment and bothered the local residents.

“I’m glad that the fine is quite high…It means that an appropriate sanction has been imposed for the sake of the observance of the conditions set,” Moravia-Silesia deputy governor Miroslav Novak said.

The oil lagoons, left behind by the Ostramo chemical plant that operated in Ostrava throughout the 20th century, are one of the biggest old environmental burdens in the Czech Republic.

Their removal has been carried out by the Cista Ostrava group of companies, with Geosan Group at the helm, for the state company Diamo.

The fuel made of the extracted sludges has been transferred to north Bohemia to be burnt in an incinerator, which has stirred up local people’s protests.

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