PM vows action over River Oder pollution

2022-08-11 14:42 update: 2022-08-12, 19:50
Photo PAP/Lech Muszyński
Photo PAP/Lech Muszyński
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, said on Thursday that sever pollution of the Oder river is a scandal and vowed that everything would be done to explain the matter and bring the culprits to justice.

The Environmental Protection Inspectorate (WIOS) in Wroclaw (west southern Poland) has notified the local prosecutor of an ecological disaster that has hit the Oder, Poland's second longest river. Tonnes of dead fish have been washed up along with other animals such as beavers.

The Wroclaw branch of WIOS has been investigating the matter of dead fish in the Oder since the first reports came in from anglers in late July. 

In a Facebook post, Morawiecki wrote that care for the natural environment and Poland's waters was "especially important at a time of climate change and we will do everything for the case to be appropriately investigated, clarified and the guilty severely punished."

The prime minister reported that at his behest, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Grzegorz Witkowski and the president of Polish Waters, Przemyslaw Daca, would travel to the affected region on Thursday. 

"I have discussed the matter with (Infrastructure - PAP) Minister Marek Grobarczyk. At the same time, the issue is being worked on by officers of the Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection," Morawiecki posted, giving his assurance that all state services would be acting with the utmost intensity on the case. 

The WIOS in Wroclaw said on Thursday that no Oder water samples taken from the Lower Silesian province since August 1 had contained the petrochemical mesitylene, a substance toxic to aquatic organisms, and that all samples taken since July 28 had shown organic activity typical for the river. Earlier, the WIOS had said samples taken on that date had shown an 80-percent probability of containing "derivatives of cyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons." (PAP)