The battle for clean air will long be lost
Citizens do not have time to wait for the authorities to deal with documentation regarding pollution. For the last three years the number of cancer patients in Tetovo has increased by 80 percent. The soil in Veles is polluted, where although the smelter is closed, lead is present in vegetables and fruits. These are just some of the points raised by the participants during the debate “Pollution in Macedonia – Battle for Clean Air” organized by the online magazine “Inbox 7”.
While representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and the City of Skopje defended policies regarding pollution measures, representatives of non-governmental organizations required specific answers why Macedonia is still one of the most polluted countries in Europe.
“I do not agree in the 21st century to wait for the rain to save us from pollution, it is completely frivolous. We have frivolous treatment of a serious problem”, said Aleksandra Bujaroska, representative of the NGO “Front 21/42”. She stated that the registry of pollutants had not been publicly available yet, and that the public did not know whether pollutants had been punished.
Regarding industrial pollution Besa Tateshi, advisor in the Ministry of Environment said that the whole process of the so-called “first generation” of A integrated permits for industrial facilities should be completed by 2019. Currently, she said, they are following the probationary period of implementation of the standards in “Jugohrom” and “Makstil”. According to her, a new law on industrial pollution is being prepared.
This provoked reaction among the representatives of non-governmental organizations and citizens who quoted parts of the law, as well as announcements by the relevant in public, according to which all deadlines for issuing permits have already been prolonged.