Another wave of pollution in Tisza catchment
(posted to the Ramsar Forum, 24 March 2000)
Dear Ramsar Forum,
Just six weeks after the devastating cyanide spill in the rivers of Szamos and Tisza, unfortunately two other waves of pollution were issued from another Romanian mine into the Tisza river catchment containing 100 000 cubic meters heavy metal (lead, copper, cadmium, etc.) sludge.
Much of the polluted water body has already passed Hungary, however there is a fear that the damage of these is even more dangerous than those of the cyanide spill due to the fact that the rivers are flooding, therefore certain amount of heavy metal sludge was deposited in the fragile and untouched floodplains of the 600 km Tisza section in Hungary. Three Ramsar Sites were affected by this recent pollution. The Hungarian government has allocated 700 million HUF (approximately 3 million USD) for assessment of the loss and rehabilitation of the river ecosystems.
The Authority for Nature Conservation (Ministry of Environment) is currently looking for any reference (studies, papers etc.) related to restoration of floodplain and river ecosystems.
If you know of any similar cases and the remedial actions of them, please let us know. Any web address, source of documents would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Secretary of Hungarian National Ramsar Committee
From the Infobeat e-mail news services, 29 March 2000
*** Romanian mine spill pollutes rivers
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Three weeks after thousands of tons of heavy metals-laden ore flowed down rivers in northern Romania, another spill occurred over the weekend at the same dam, officials said Tuesday. Late Sunday, heavy rains and melting snow washed away part of the earthen wall at a dam operated by the Baia Borsa mine, allowing contaminated water to escape at a rate of 50 liters per second, officials said. That means some 4.3 tons are being discharged daily from the pond while construction work to repair the damaged wall is underway. Tuesday, concentrations of lead in the Tisza River at Sighetu Marmatiei, some 260 miles northwest of Bucharest, were double the European Union's safety norms. See http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2565263884-131
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