Flooding producing pollution risk

As flooding causes chaos across Europe, two dioxin-contaminated buildings and an area contaminated with mercury at the Spolana chemical factory outside Prague in the Czech Republic have been flooded, reports environmental group Greenpeace.


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Following the flooding, a cloud of chlorine escaped from the facility, and Greenpeace observers have seen smoke coming from the site following a small explosion inside the Spolana Neratovice factory 25 miles north of Prague on the River Elbe.

The factory produces PVC and other basic chemicals, reports Greenpeace. The two dioxin-contaminated buildings were former production facilities of the herbicide Agent Orange, produced at the facility until 1968.

“Spolana should be made accountable for the damages caused by this accident,” said Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Central Europe Martin Hojsik. “They have known for years about the risks connected with contamination on their site.”

However, the company does appear to be keeping an eye on its environmental responsibilities, having an environmental policy which states that Spolana is fully aware of the existence of the impacts of its activities on the environment. Features include readiness for emergencies – although this does not appear to include flooding, and a requirement for suppliers to protect the environment.

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