Friday, 10 October 2008

Third Sitting of the Environmental Protection Committee

The Environmental Protection Committee held its third sitting on 10 October in the building of the City of Pancevo.

The Environmental Protection Committee held its third sitting on 10 October in the building of the City of Pancevo. The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman Cedomir Jovanovic.

Pancevo is one of the cities on the black ecological map of Serbia. The Committee members and deputies were briefed on Pancevo’s environmental protection issues by Dr Miladin Adamov, State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, Dr Slobodan Puzovic, Provincial Secretary for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Vladimir Delja, City Council member in charge of environmental protection, Ljiljana Stanojevic, Assistant Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning and Olga Sipovac, Secretary of the City of Pancevo Secretariat for Environment.

The Committee members and deputies went on to ask questions and conduct discussions with the representatives of the Government and local self-authority. Pancevo is one of 237 registered endangered places in Serbia and the participants of the sitting agreed that it is necessary to react jointly and swiftly in order to solve the problem of pollution in the city and the surrounding area containing the industrial so-called south zone (Azotara, HIP Petrohemija and Pancevo Oil Refinery).

The Committee members concluded that it is necessary to organize a meeting with the Parliament Speaker and Deputy Groups Heads straight away so as to expediate the adoption of the Action Plan and Environmental Protection Bill at the Assembly. At the same time, the coordination among the Committee, the Government and relevant ministries should be strengthened, introducing representatives of the local self-government and the province into the coordination, as well as joint work on the budget.

The Committee Chairman Cedomir Jovanovic stressed that he will not give up on a systematic solution of the environmental protection problems in Pancevo adding that the Committee is planning to visit other endangered places in Serbia, among which the city of Bor is one of the most polluted.

The Committee members visited HIP Petrohemija in the south zone, where they visited the wastewater treatment plant and hazardous waste storage. HIP Petrohemija is one of the biggest polluters of the environment, which set aside 13 million euros for protective measures in this year’s action plan. HIP Petrohemija executive director, Zoran Mioc stressed that the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant, one of the biggest polluters in the southern zone, will be finished by September 2009.

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