Accidental pollution incidents in the Danube River Basin can cause widespread damage to the environment, and endanger the health of local people and the state of local economies downstream. This was exemplified by the effects of the Baia Mare and Baia Borsa mine waste spills in Romania in 2000.
The ICPDR is working to prevent accidental pollution and to improve response capability by listing all relevant "Accident Risk Spots" in inventories, and by providing two tools to lessen the related risks:
- Recommendations on guidelines for the Danube states to improve the standard of safety measures at risk sites
- Checklists to help controlling technical safety levels at Accident Risk Spots.
Inventory of Accident Risk Spots
The Accident Risk Spots inventory encompasses operational industrial sites associated with a major risk of accidental pollution, due to the nature of the chemicals being produced, stored or used at the plants, as well as contaminated sites including landfills and dumps in areas liable to flooding.
The inventory of operating industrial sites was finalised in 2001 for most of the Danube countries, and updated in 2003. The inventory of contaminated sites in flood-risk areas is under preparation.
The presence of a plant or site in the inventory only reflects a potential threat. The actual risk to the environment must be determined more accurately by assessing the effectiveness of existing safety measures in a thorough site analysis using the harmonized checklists. A pilot project focussed on the application of checklist in operating industrial sites will be organized with the support of UNDP/GEF in 2005.
The information contained in the ICPDR website is intended to enhance public access to information about the ICPDR and the Danube River. The information is correct to the best of the knowledge of the ICPDR Secretariat. If errors are brought to our attention we will try to correct them.
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