Lafarge cement plant in Beočin, Serbia goes to court because of the air pollution

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With the world’s major cities on the map of the most polluted, a small town in Vojvodina, Beocin is also to be found. Air has often been unhealthy in the past two years and recently has been confirmed by an inspector. The Provincial Secretariat for Environmental Protection will file a complaint against Lafarge, and they have been ordered to take action to eliminate irregularities.


In September 2019, the rotary kiln released hydrogen chloride into the air, with an average half hour exceeding 200 percent 62 times.

A month later, powdered substances were released into the air. 847 times the mean half-hour was twice the threshold. It was similar in November.

Due to such statistics, special measures were ordered to the factory.

“They are forbidden to receive waste that has not been adequately checked, that is, which does not have control and report on their waste analyzes, and on the other hand, it is necessary to apply technical and technological measures, which in fact means investing in eliminating current irregularities in work,” states the undersecretary of Provincial Secretariat for Environmental Protection Brankica Tabak.

The company itself measures pollution on five chimneys. They do not deny the data, but claim they do not infringe the integrated permit.

They complained about the inspector’s decision because, they say, they do not pollute all year, but deviations occur occasionally.

“It’s simply impossible to avoid in any industry like ours, which depends on a lot of inputs that you are completely below the upper limits in every second. Again, at the year level, we are below 50 percent of the upper limits,” the director of Lafarge Serbia Dimitrije Knjeginjic claims.

Branakica Tabak replies that the half-hourly measurements, which are performed every day, have shown “some other facts that are important to eliminate as well.”

Although they check alternative burning fuels at the cement factory, inspectors found that they were not adequately controlled.

In 2018, the company used more than 50,000 tons of petroleum coke as fuel, over 10,000 tons of scrap tires, waste oil, municipal industrial waste.

“We stand behind it to be true and in accordance with the IPPC license and well below the limits we have with the IPPC license,” said Dimitrije Knjeginjic.

The Save the Beocin Citizens Association is asking those in charge to suspend integrated licenses, and cement workers to completely ban the use of alternative fuels and use natural gas in production. The factory continues to operate, and fines are expected to be fined if the court confirms the inspector’s reports.


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