Toxic mining disasters 'loom in eastern Europe'

Oct 03, 2011
A red sludge storage facility is seen near Kolontar, 160 km west of Budapest, Hungary -- the site of a deadly red mud toxic spill in 2010. Toxic mining disasters loom in eastern Europe as the European Union has failed to pass legislation a year after Hungary's lethal toxic mud spill, an environmentalist group said.

Toxic mining disasters loom in eastern Europe as the European Union has failed to pass legislation a year after Hungary's lethal toxic mud spill, an environmentalist group said on Monday.

"Hungary has let its presidency of the EU pass without taking any action to defuse further ticking time bombs in Central and Eastern Europe," said Gabor Figeczky, the head of WWF in Hungary, which chaired the 27-member union in the first half of 2011.

Prior to the first anniversary of Hungary's biggest ever environmental diseaster the organisation demanded that Brussels draw up an action plan to ensure the EU's existing rules on mining waste were applied.

"The EU directive which was introduced in 2006 is in principle good, but must now be effectively implemented," said Figeckzy.

In September, Hungarian authoritites slapped a massive fine of 135 billion forints (470 million euros) on the alumina plant MAL Zrt responsible for the which killed 10 people and sent 1.1 million cubic metres (38.8 million cubic feet) of toxic red mud cascading into surrounding villages.

WWF said that sum should be used not only for compensation but also "to identify other time bombs still ticking in Hungary".

It warned that potentially dangerous dumps existed all over the former communist bloc.

Last week, environmental pressure group staged a protest against the storage of at another reservoir in Hungary, demanding its immediate closure.

Explore further: US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Toxic mud spill kills four in Hungary

Oct 05, 2010

Hungary declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after a toxic mud spill killed four people and injured 120 in what officials described as Hungary's worst-ever chemical accident.

Hungary toxic sludge spill reaches Danube (Update)

Oct 08, 2010

The company at the centre of Hungary's toxic sludge leak that killed four people defended itself Friday, as fears increased over the threat to marine life in Europe's second longest river.

Recommended for you

US northeast braces for flooding after record snow

9 hours ago

Weather forecasters and emergency officials warned Sunday that melting snow would lead to heavy flooding in parts of the US northeast, with hundreds of thousands of people told to brace for fast-rising waters.

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.