The Slovenia Times

Kemis to resume full-scale waste processing, locals opposed


Kemis halted production after the fire in May 2017. Today the company said that it had concluded the final phase of renovation, having already cleaned up the site and its surroundings.

Apart from the renovation of buildings damaged by the fire, the final phase of renovation also involved implementing new fire safety and precaution measures in the fields of technology, staff and organisation.

"We have met all the requirements set down in the environmental permit, and considering that inspection oversight during rehabilitation found no non-compliances, we'll start delivering to the Kemis location solid waste that we'll make ready for reception with final producers and waste disposal companies," Kemis said in a press release.

The company added that on resuming its operations it would hold a news conference to show the facility and the upgraded fire safety measures on 1 February.

Kemis said earlier that it would invite to the event the Vrhnika mayor and members of the local council as well as the Vrhnika Firefighters' Association and local associations of voluntary firefighters.

Several media have now reported that Kemis has already notified Mayor Daniel Cukjati of its plan to resume operations, however, neither him nor the residents agree with the plan.

"On the contrary. Cukjati says that he reiterated in the meeting [with Kemis officials] that such a facility does not belong in the vicinity of a settled area and that he does not trust them," the newspaper Dnevnik reports.

Also opposed is a local civil initiative and locals are due to meet Health Minister Jure Leben over the matter soon at the municipality's request.

Andrej Marković, the head of the civil initiative Ekovrh, told Dnevnik that they held it against Leben that he "decided that Kemis can stay, without coming to Vrhnika to hear out the people affected by the fire".

Kemis recently denied the allegation by the mayor and civil initiative of Moravče, a town north-east of Ljubljana, that the toxic waste from the fire site ended up at an abandoned abandoned quartz sand quarry in their municipality.

Kemis said that all the waste produced by the fire and the hazardous waste produced by the firefighting operation had been taken for incineration abroad, adding that it had documents to prove that.

Leben ordered the Moravče site to be surveyed over the allegations with the results due in the coming days.

In the wake of the disaster, Kemis revealed that almost 900 tonnes of waste caught fire. Of that over 200 tonnes had burnt down, half of which was hazardous waste.


More from Nekategorizirano