Croatia informs EC about actions taken to remediate slag landfill

NEWS 11.03.202312:30 0 komentara
Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL, Ilustracija

The physical planning ministry has stated that "all the actions are being conducted to remediate the Biljane Donje landfill" where slag is disposed of after the European Commission recently informed that it again referred Croatia to the Court of Justice of the EU over that case. Pročitaj više

In mid-February, the EC said that it had referred Croatia to the Court of Justice of the EU concerning its failure to comply with the Court’s ruling on the illegal landfill site in Biljane Donje.

Responding to the inquiry from Hina, the ministry says that the landfill in the Zadar hinterland is “a complex issue within the remit of several ministerial departments”.

All of them are taking necessary actions to remediate the Crno Brdo landfill in the village of Biljane Donje.

The ministry is preparing a procedure in which independent experts from the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering of the University of Zagreb will make an assessment of the value of the disposed of slag.

The next step will be the publication of an international tender for the sale of slag.

The ministry of economy and sustainable development has informed Hina that in the previous period the waste slag, which used to be disposed of at that landfill by the Sibenik-based Electrodes and Ferroalloys Factory – TEF, was dealt with in accordance with the agreement concluded by the City of Šibenik and the Zagreb-based MLM company.

The company recycled the slag at the landfill and was obliged to take care of the stone aggregate residue.

In 2011, large amounts of the aggregate were transported from the TEF factory in Šibenik to the warehouses of the MLM Group at Biljane Donje, near the A1 motorway.

The MLM Group concluded an agreement with a local individual on the lease of the site for the disposal of stone aggregate, and the Fund for the Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency was not included in that transaction, the economy and sustainable development ministry explains.

Environmentalists: Illegal landfill threat to human health

The developments surrounding the Biljane Donje landfill have prompted local Green activists to accuse the Croatian government of having done nothing to protect the human health in the area.

Some 140,000 tonnes of production residue from the processing of ferromanganese and silicomanganese has been deposited since 2010 directly on this illegal landfill site, less than 50 metres from houses.

On 15 February this year, the EC decided to refer Croatia back to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to fully comply with the Court judgment of 2 May 2019.

In this judgment, the Court found that Croatia had failed to meet its obligations under the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EU) in relation to an illegal landfill site in Biljane Donje.

The Court confirmed that the stone aggregate disposed of in Biljane Donje had to be considered as waste, rather than as a by-product and that the material had to be managed without endangering human health and without harming the environment.

Moreover, Croatia had to take necessary measures to ensure that the holder of the waste disposed of in Biljane Donje treats the waste itself or has it treated by a trader, an establishment or a company carrying out waste treatment operations or a public or private waste collector.

To comply with the Court judgment, Croatia is expected to take all the necessary measures so this illegal landfill site in Biljane Donje is closed and remediated as soon as possible.

More than three years after the judgment, Croatia has not taken any tangible steps: the abandoned waste creates health and environmental risks. It is not clear how the waste will be disposed of and when the site will be cleaned, the EC says.

In the absence of any measures taken, the EC decided to refer Croatia back to the Court. This is a second referral to Court which may result in financial penalties for the time elapsed from the first judgment until achieving compliance.

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