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Waste plant fires raise environmental, security concerns

Ljubljana, 5 December - Three cases of fire in waste-processing plants in less than three months between May and July raised concerns about granting environmental permits to companies and about locations of potentially dangerous plants. In a massive fire at the Kemis waste-processing plant in Vrhnika on 15 May, over 870 tonnes of waste burnt up, more than half of which was hazardous. The effects of this environmental disaster in the middle of a residential area are said to be far-reaching, while locals were very unhappy with the way the state and the plant handled the situation. Soon after the massive fire, one also broke at a plant processing waste candles in Ljutomer in NE Slovenia in early June and then another one at a waste-processing facility of the Ekosistemi company in Zalog near Novo mesto in July. Subsequently, the government ordered a review of all company environmental permits as of 2018, starting with those issued to companies that could pose the biggest risk to the environment. It also moved to overhaul the environmental protection act, but the motion has not reached parliament yet.

Vrhnika
The site of industrial fire at waste processing company Kemis.
Photo: An┼że Malovrh/STA

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