FBiH gov’t calls for preparing plan for accidental water pollution, adopting environmental law
The government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) has tasked the Agency for the Sava River Basin and the Adriatic Basin with preparing a federal operational plan for accidental pollution and asked the federal parliament to speed up the adoption of the environmental law.
The FBiH government has been informed by the federal administration for inspection affairs on an accidental pollution of the Spreče River caused by the discharge of technological wastewater from the Bijelo More sediment depot, according to a statement on the FBiH government’s website.
The incident took place in April, when the Bijelo More sediment depot dam of the wastewater treatment plant at chemical maker Sisecam Soda in Lukavac collapsed and released toxic water into the Spreča River. At the beginning of August, a large amount of ammonia water with tar leaked into the river from the facilities of coke and chemicals producer Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Lukavac (GIKIL).
The Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism, with the consent of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry, will amend the rulebook on procedures and measures in the case of accidents in waters and coastal water land. The changes will aim to lay down the competencies for the adoption of the federal operational plan for accidental pollution, as well as cantonal plans.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management, and Forestry has been tasked with establishing higher penalties for exceeding the limit values for technological wastewater parameters and failing to conduct wastewater monitoring. This will be done as part of the procedure for the adoption of the new law on waters, which is under way.
Bill submitted to parliament back on April 30
The FBiH government adopted an environmental protection bill at the beginning of April. The bill is based on the results of the project “Monitoring progress in the harmonization of environmental legislation in the countries of Southeast Europe with the EU legislation”.
This project has established that the existing environmental law is only partially harmonized with EU legislation, and that it has not transported obligations BiH has undertaken with the ratification of several international conventions.
Now the bill is based on EU directives and international conventions.
The environmental bill was submitted to the FBiH parliament on April 30.