The Minister of the Environment Yulian Popov: Pollution in the waters of the Black Sea is growing rather than shrinking

Climate / Bulgaria
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Photo: BNT/Prt Screen

The pollution of the Black Sea is increasing rather than shrinking, the Minister of Environment and Water, Yulian Popov, reported on BNT. That's how he responded to a survey by the Association of Active Users, which came out yesterday. According to the minister, it is not a representative sample because polluted beaches are specifically sought. The study included 11 of the risky beaches out of a total of 49 beaches along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The joint inspection by scientists from Sofia University and the Association of Active Users found pollution on 7 out of 11 beaches, up to 41 times above the norm, are the main conclusions of the study. It is the responsibility of the municipalities to properly maintain and operate the treatment plants and to ensure that pollution is not allowed, the minister said.

If there is any problem with water pollution, however, it is not related to Ukraine. This is what the Minister of Environment and Water, Julian Popov, said in the "The Day Begins" studio.

The MoEW is committed to the European financing of water cycles, not to the construction, construction and maintenance of treatment plants. This is the responsibility of the municipalities and we are constantly working with them to encourage them to have adequate projects so that similar cases do not occur, commented the minister.

Regarding the incident with "Gabrovo District Heating", Julian Popov said that already in February, a forced administrative measure was imposed to stop the work of the plant due to severe and unacceptable pollution, and this led to a ban on operating the coal part of the installation.

"The ban itself is not enough, the plant must be continuously maintained and monitored. The owner withdrew his request for a license and practically with this heating system, the case is closed. I hope it is closed, but there are similar installations in other places and we have to work with them", explained the eco-minister. "Gabrovo District Heating" asked EWRC to terminate its activity.

The eco-minister emphasized that multiple institutions should work in a coordinated manner and they should be supported politically and expertly in order to be able to deal with such type of absolutely unacceptable violations in the future. Every coal-fired power plant is in this state, like Brickel in Stara Zagora, but again, it must be coordinated with the Labor Inspectorate. Bulgaria must offer a better environment, working conditions, better health.

How Bulgaria became a champion in reducing carbon emissions. Fuel prices have normalized, coal plants are shutting down and emissions are decreasing. The plants continue to operate at a loss and we need to have a clear policy, which we do not have. We are working in this direction.

On the issue of renegotiation of the Recovery Plan, Minister Julian Popov emphasized that the renegotiation will be difficult, but we will have clarity in September.

The water monitoring project has been dropped from the Plan because it directs funds to companies, and this will be determined as illegal state aid. Such systems are currently being built, such as the one for the Iskar River. Monitoring, of course, is not enough, but construction is happening gradually and depends on technological developments, such as satellite and drone photography. Since last year, NIMH has been part of the Ministry of Education and Culture and has a very wide toolkit for monitoring, which will lead to a lot of information. The cancellation of the project does not mean that it will not be implemented, the activities will continue to take place, said the eco-minister. The Recovery Plan wetlands project is also being dropped, but activities on it will also move forward. The issue is very complex and creates conditions for reforestation and wrong afforestation of land as happened in the past, therefore it is very difficult to defend it before the EC. But the minister emphasized again that the activities under it will be realized with closer cooperation with the institutions responsible for the forest fund.



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