Toxic towns – Remember Kalush?September 20, 2011
Well dear readers, do you remember me writing about Kalush almost two years ago?
It was indeed when I was writing in a somewhat more “folksy” style which reading it now, I am certainly not that good at. Fortunately I have an audience who seem to be very forgiving and far more interested in content rather than form.
Anyway, Kalush and the toxic man-made nightmare so ably raised to public attention by then-President Yushenko during his last week in office, has not been forgotten. At least it has not been forgotten as far the the citizens of Kalush are concerned or indeed President Yushenko’s successor or the new administration.
20.9 tonnes of hexachlorobenzene have actually been removed a few days ago and by now will have been moved by road to a disposal site in Poland. A total of 7500 tonnes of this monstrous material is due to be removed this year, all headed for Poland. Last year a total of 8500 tonnes made its way to the UK for disposal.
By the end of the year, the Ukrainian Environment Minister expects 60% of the hexachlorobenzene at Kalush to have been removed from Ukraine and by the end of next year, the entire 22,800 tonnes will have been disposed of outside Ukrainian borders.
Now I could question the cost effectiveness of external disposal as opposed to constructing a specialist facility to dispose of it within Ukraine, but certainly as far as Kalush is concerned, there is a finite amount of this toxic nasty to deal with and really given the inaction of dealing with it prior to and since independence, the fact it is being dealt with should be welcomed.
One still wonders however, given the amount of toxic nasties of various degrees of nastiness and quantity inherited from the Soviet era in Ukraine, whether an internal specialist disposal site would not have been a more cost effective strategy. Then again, who would welcome such a specialist site in their region? Are we seeing the rise of NYMBY’s in Ukraine or given the memory and legacy of Chernobyl, a very wise decision where risk management and external disposal outweighs the costs?
Whatever, it is pleasing to see the matter is eventually been addressed with action and not words.