Bosnia: HPP Svitava is operating without environmental permits, NGOs
For more than half a year HPP Svitava, part of the system of Electric power industry of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, is operating without the required environmental permits, whose obtaining is conditioned by reaching of the agreement on the payment of reimbursement for the recovery of damages inflicted to the Nature Park Hutovo Blato near Čapljina, because of the water deprivation from this natural habitat of rare species of birds, plants and fauna.
According to available information, yet on the 27th of October last year expired the environmental permit of Čapljina’s hydropower plant which operates using the water system from the upper horizons and thus significantly influenced the water deprivation from Nature Park Hutovo Blato, which is seriously affected due to a number of irresponsible moves of this Electric Power Industry, but also of the colleagues from the Electric Power Industry of the Republika Srpska and Croatian Electric power Industry.
When the EP HZ HB made a request for extension of the environmental permit, the relevant Ministry headed in that period by Branka Djuric clearly announced that they will not be able to obtain such a license if they do not reach an agreement on the payment of reimbursement which would be used for the revitalization of Hutovo Blato.
The WWF action plan
Namely, the Federal Ministry has fully accepted the Action plan for the revitalization of the Hutovo blato habitat, created by an expert of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zoran Mateljak. The document points out that due to the water conversion from the Hutovo Blato system, this unique wetland system is affected and threatened by the disappearance of flora and fauna. After these warnings, former Minister Djuric has also made a proposal for an agreement between EP HZ HB and the Public Enterprise Hutovo blato which would regulate their future relations. Among other things, it was also stated that the EP HZ HB should pay monthly 40,000 KM as a sort of compensation for the use of water, and that money would be used for the revitalization of Hutovo Blato. Instead of starting the negotiations, this company ignored and refused to accept any responsibility for the damage inflicted to Hutovo blato.
“It’s a paradox, probably unique in the world, because they produce electricity and completely ignore the others causing them damage without any responsibility,” said director of the Public Enterprise Hutovo Blato Nikola Zovko. He expressed the hope that in the future the Electric power industry will behave socially responsibly toward society and the environment in which it operates. Recently, the Federal Bureau of Inspection Affairs found that HPP Svitava operates without the necessary permits and therefore issued the misdemeanor injunction.