Press Statement 10 May 2009

Pollution Free Sebes! Campaign

The Independent Centre for Environmental Protection at Sebes

Press Statement

Sebes/Romania 10 May 2009 – Several regional media channels recently published a press release entitled ‘Kronospan and the Local Initiative Group work together for a cleaner environment at Sebes’ . The press release was signed by both Kronospan and the Local Initiative Group; this with no prior consent from the later. Kronospan’s act of releasing the respective press information has been an attempt to mislead the general public and the competent authorities about its relationship with the local community and can be regarded as an attempt to harm the NGOs reputation based on an independent commitment to environmental protection. It is also an attempt to discredit all groups active in the Pollution Free Sebes campaign. In light of this serious misinformation from the part of Kronospan, the NGO is herewith releasing the following statement:

‘In 2007 the Local Initiative Group Pollution Free Sebes initiated the ‘Pollution Free Sebes! campaign’. It consists of a multitude of court actions, events, protest letters and awareness raising activities carried out together with several environmental NGOs, experts on environmental, urbanism, construction and industrial pollution issues, attorneys, etc. The campaign’s aim is to prevent Kronospan Sebes from extending its existing formaldehydes production plant and to stop the pollution generated by the Kronospan industrial platform from Sebes.

In February 2009 the Local Initiative Group ‘Pollution Free Sebes’ became an NGO now called the ‘Independent Centre for Environmental Protection at Sebes’ (ICEPS).

In March 2009 several members of ICEPS visited Kronospan’s industrial platform. The aim of this visit was to collect information on Kronospan’s intention to install certain technologies that might reduce daily pollution levels released through its chimney stacks1. Given that Kronospan is currently in an IPPC authorization and consultation procedure, it is its responsibility to release information and data to the affected public including on the measures for environmental protection and to collect views, input and comments from the public and NGOs concerned. For the same information purpose, ICEPS addressed several FOI requests to the competent authorities and will participate in the forthcoming public debate meeting; as access to information and public participation is guaranteed by the IPPC procedure and the Aarhus Convention.

We would like to stress that ICEPS has no cooperation relationship with Kronospan and did not agree to issue any joint press release with this company. ICEPS will continue to strictly monitor Kronospan’s industrial activity on its Sebes platform as well as any decisions taken by the competent authorities to approve/regulate its activities. ICEPS will continue to raise awareness amongst the general public and the authorities on the dangers and risks between Kronospan’s activities and public and environmental health. ICEPS will continue to use all civic and legal means at its disposal to prevent the planned extension of Kronospan’s existing formaldehydes production plant and to stop the pollution generated by Kronospan on its industrial platform from in Sebes.

All our press releases are accompanied by the header ‘Pollution Free Sebes campaign’ and at the end indicate contact details for our representative, Mr. Matei Mircea, for further information and contacts. ICEPS official webpage is https://pollutionfreesebes.wordpress.com/ which is where all our statements, press releases and other information materials can be found.’

***

For more information please contact Mr Mircea Matei at: office@sebesfarapoluare.ro or at +40720533018.

1 It has been estimated that Kronospan’s five chimney stacks release 36,000,000 cubic metres of chemical emissions per day and 1.8 tonnes of fine wood dust, impregnated with formaldehyde and other toxic matters. The constant and elevated discharge of substances such as PM10 respirable particulate matter and formaldehyde are of particular concern, given PM10’s known contribution to premature deaths and formaldehyde having been classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation.

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