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Letter to the Prime Minister concerning environmental pollution in Zasavje

Ljubljana, 01/05/2007  |  press release

President of the Republic Dr. Janez Drnovšek today sent Prime Minister Janez Janša and Minister of the Environment Janez Podobnik a letter in which he advocatesn a in-depth, integral study of the claims of the inhabitants of Zasavje and EKO KROG in connection with the environmental effects of Lafarge Cementarne d. d. in Trbovlje. We publish the letter in full below:

"The inhabitants of Zasavje and EKO KROG – Society for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection, from Zagorje ob Savi, have drawn my attention several times recently to the effects of the release of pollution into the atmosphere from the cement works, Lafarge Cementarne d. d. Trbovlje. The inhabitants of Zasavje are very disturbed and express concern about the negative impact of many years of pollution on sustainable development in Zasavje. The inhabitants are concerned about living conditions for current and future generations. We expect systematic monitoring to be established in the near future, of all pollution affecting all aspects of the environment in all segents (air, soil, plants, animals, water sources, people) and a proposal made of specific measures for eliminating sources of pollution.

I have been informed in more detail with the position of EKO KROG which, in the spirit of the Aarhus Convention, is committed to the ending of various forms of illegal pollution and proposes the introduction, or public disclosure, of the results of regular monitoring of releases of pollution at Lafarge cement works and publication of the findings of inspections of the measurement system. EKO KROG is committed to the introduction (and public disclosure) of official supervision for ensuring the application of environmental consent, which the use of black coal as a production energy source at Lafarge cement works requires.

I welcome the founding of a Working Group for Improving Air Quality in Zasavje, within the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning. I am sure that with constant professional dialogue and cooperation among the interested partners in the search for a solution on the basis of comparable public records of emissions of harmful substances in Zasavje, it can significantly contribute to ascertaining the actual situation and ending illegal pollution.

Esteemed Prime Minister,

I ask you to be personally committed to an in-depth, integral study of claims in connection with the environmental impact of Lafarge Cementarne d. d. in Trbovlje, in order to seek a compromise in this way as soon as possible, between people's existential interests, the balance of nature and the development needs of Zasavje."