11 tonnes of formaldehyde into the air each year – estimated emissions from the planned Kronospan plant in Horodok

“Consideration of construction documents of a woodworking factory in Horodok village near Rivne is only possible if an independent environmental monitoring system will be part of it and EIA will be conducted. ”- Ecoclub.

Currently, none of them is in place . Members of the temporary deputy commission of the Rivne City Council are studying the legality of land permit on which the construction of the factory is planned.

Ecoclub attended the meeting of the temporary deputy commission of the Rivne City Council regarding the possible construction of the Kronospan UA woodworking plant in Horodok village near Rivne.

The meeting was attended by residents of Нorodok, Obarіv and Rivne, scientists, representatives of Technopryvid Invest Group (representatives of Kronospan), Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of Rivne Regional State Administration, regional laboratory center and MP Solomiia Bobrovska.

The community does not approve  of possible construction.

List of comments that were voiced at the meeting:

  • For the calculations in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report background concentrations of pollutants in Rivne were taken while in Gorodok they are significantly higher. So even if the emissions into the air are at maximum permissible concentrations, pollution in the village will exceeded safe concentrations.
  • Moreover, instead of daily average values, a maximum values of one-time discharge were used, which are 3-3,5 times higher.  That is, the Environmental Impact Assessment Report directly states the expected exceedance of the maximum permissible concentrations of pollutants.
  • EIA Report does not provide an analysis of the existing soil and water pollution, which is important, given the decades of work of other “dirty” enterprises in the area.
  • Despite the significant pollution in Horodok village and surrounding areas, there are no stationary posts for environmental monitoring. Moreover, there are currently no laboratories in Rivne Oblast capable of conducting observations in the required range and volume.
  • At the start of the enterprise, the residents of the village, especially the neighbors of the enterprise, will face  deterioration in their quality of life and reduction in the value of their property without any compensation.
  • The assessment of the dispersion of pollutants does not take into account the terrain features, in particular, the possibility and consequences of temperature inversions and long periods of no windy weather.
  • EIA Report does not analyze the risks of accidents and their consequences for the environment and human health.
  • EIA Report states that there are no nature reserve assets, however a kilometer away is the Botanical Wildlife Refuge of Vyshneva Gora and other local objects.
  • Dozens of Horodok residents have reported attempts to manipulate the results of public hearings.
  • Kronospan’s plan to process 4 million cubic meters of timber a year was a major concern (several times more than a year in Rivne region).

According to the Ecoclub, it is possible to return to the consideration of plans for construction of such an enterprise only after the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • An honest, credible, understandable environmental impact assessment report prepared by the Kronospan UA Woodworking Plant, which will include an assessment of all possible negative impacts on the environment and human health, taking into account current background pollution.
  • Stationary environmental monitoring post operating in the village independent of the enterprise and local government and carrying out round-the-clock observations. Generally speaking, the state should have in place an effective system for monitoring compliance with environmental legislation, which should include a monitoring system.
  • Compensation is provided for damages to residents who will be forced to live under increased concentrations of pollutants. 

Next steps

As a result of the discussion and heard speeches, the Rivne City Council interim deputy commission decided to send requests to the relevant authorities, first of all to the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine to extend the deadline for receiving public comments on environmental impact assessment. This is due on January 15. Also:

  • to study the lawfulness of obtaining the property of the land plot on which the construction of the enterprise is planned;
  • obtain feasibility study details and project details, correspondence with investors.
  • to meet with the Chairman of the Rivne Oblast State Administration;
  • to find out how much the company paid taxes in Novovolynsk (where the other Kronospan plant is working) and how many real jobs for the local citizens were created there;
  • collect information on the incidence (number and types of diseases) of Horodok residents compared to surrounding villages and districts.

Prehistory

In the summer, in Rivne media appeared articles about the intention to build a Kronospan UA woodworking plant in the Horodok village near Rivne. As promised by investors, the plant will bring in € 200 million in investments and over 2,000 jobs.

Long before the affirmative decision was made and the environmental impact of the potentially dangerous enterprise was assessed, the oblast authorities signed a memorandum of cooperation and various assistance with investors.

Local communities viewed the news of the construction of the woodworking plant negatively. Concerned about the potential for harmful emissions, the proximity of businesses to buildings and the lack of transparency of talks with investors, they set up an initiative group to impede  construction.

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Contacts

Address:
33014, Rivne, 41, Stepana Bandery str., off. 92