Montenegro: There is no construction of the Second lock without a study of impact on human health

, NGOs

The Government of Montenegro should suspend implementation of the project of construction of the Second Block of the Thermal Power Plant in Pljevlja, until is made a comprehensive and independent study showing the impact of future Thermal Power Plant on human health, but also until assesses how much in the coming decades will be the costs of health and social expenditures due to the early death and various illnesses caused by the operation of the new block.

The Government totally irresponsibly entered the entire project, because as the actual cost only calculated just the construction of the new block and purchase of equipment, although the costs of health and environmental protection represent the biggest part when it comes to power plant projects. In this connection is simply incredible that even the Institute for Public Health and the Municipality of Pljevlja do not have basic information about the impact of the new block on human health.

Thus, the draft of the Detailed Spatial Plan for Thermal Power Plant Pljevlja, which was in May last year at a public hearing, full of outdated and incomplete data about the health of the population in Pljevlja, and it is amazing to openly admits that in health care facilities in Pljevlja there is no adequate information system which would allow easy processing of statistical data, although on the other side those institutions for years indicate an increase in the number of carcinogenic and respiratory diseases.

The extend to how much can be done about the huge cost of the best shows of the international research organization Greenpeace, which in mid-2013, using a sophisticated calculation method that was developed at the University of Stuttgart, estimated the costs of health and the environment for 40 years of the operation of the Second Block of the Thermal Power Plant in Pljevlja at a whopping 2 5 billion euros, while for the same period are expected 622 premature deaths.

When you have this in mind it is clear that any responsible Government would first establish impact of the new energy facility on the health of its citizens, then the actual costs that would arise for a period of 40 years for treatments, premature deaths and related social costs, and after that would passed decision whether it is profitable at all to enter into the realization of such a project, or decide about a different model of economic development of Pljevlja municipality.

Instead, at the scene we have openly ignoring the interests of citizens and the fact that the Government for months behind closed doors finalizes an agreement with the Czech company Skoda Praha, which offered to build the Second Block of the Thermal Power Plant in Pljevlja for the price of 338 million euros.

Such behavior is highly problematic and especially having in mind the current contamination in Pljevlja, which is one of the most polluted cities in Europe and where the air, water and soil are poisoned mostly because of the existing First Block of Thermal Power Plant and its ash and slag dump on Maljevac, coal mine Pljevlja and landfill Jagnjilo.

The Government does nothing concretely to rehabilitate the state of enormous pollution in Pljevlja, which has become the city from which many leaves. Also, it is well known that coal mines and the National Energy Company, which manages with the First Block of the Thermal Power Plant, for years do not invest in re-cultivation of damaged sites and protection of the environment, despite the fact that they exploit the natural resources of the city in the northern part of the country and from that generate significant revenue.

Keeping all the above in mind, it is urgent that the Government suspends all announced activities related to the construction of a new block of the Thermal Power Plant in Pljevlja and makes the study related of an impact of the new block on human health. Any other behavior would be an adventure with far-reaching negative effects on human health and the environment, but also to the state budget from which it would be set aside huge funds for the costs of health and social expenditures.

To start a public discussion on this issue, and also on the problem of the economic viability of the construction of the Second Block of the Thermal Power Plant in Pljevlja, MANS and Green Home will, on Monday February 29th in Podgorica, organize a round table “The Second Block of PP Pljevlja – economic and environmental challenges.”


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