An inspection of the Slatina River near the town of Hrinova (Banska Bystrica region) has revealed the illegal pumping of waste water, Environment Minister Jan Budaj (OLaNO) told a news conference that he gave jointly with head of the Slovak Environment Inspectorate (SIZP) Jan Jenco on Tuesday.
According to Budaj, the contamination came from a dairy, and an inspector even had her hand burnt as she took a sample from the water. “People have been constantly reporting via a green line that the river has been contaminated, as well as to me personally. This is no innocent contamination, as rather aggressive cleaning chemicals have been found in the river,” he said.
When trying to detect the origin of this environmental crime, an inspector even received letters containing death threats, said Budaj. He also pointed to an extremist group on a social network that has been attempting to intimidate environmental activists. “No one should be allowed to intimidate people who are fighting for a clean environment, regardless of whether the struggle is being carried out by SIZP inspectors, forest rangers or activists,” said Budaj.
The minister confirmed that those responsible for the contamination will be held responsible for it. He admitted that the dairy might not have been the only entity engaged in the contamination. Inspections will continue, and the circumstances of the contamination will be further examined, he stated.
Jenco also claimed that this was no standard accident, but the use of a fake sewage system with illegal pumped substances ending up in rainwater drains. “It was discovered on Sunday (August 23) that an illegal pipe fed into rainwater drains into which the contaminated water was illegally pumped. Our inspectors took samples from industrial waste water as well,” he said.