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President Áder Contacts Romanian Counterpart Over River Pollution

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.02.20.

President János Áder sent a letter to Klaus Iohannis, his Romanian counterpart, on Friday, calling on him to take steps over the latter country’s repeated pollution of Hungarian rivers.

In his letter, Áder noted that the Hungarian section of the river Szamos had recently been polluted by heavy metals from unused mines in northern Romania. Áder asked his counterpart to promote his country’s meeting obligations under bilateral and international environmental agreements.

Hungarian authorities were alerted to the pollution of the Szamos on Thursday. Áder said in his letter that concentrations of zinc, copper and cadmium were still “above acceptable levels”. It is not yet known what impact the current pollution will have on water quality and the flora and fauna of the river, Áder said, but he added that “what we are facing is the umpteenth occasion of water pollution from Romania.”

He noted that similar disasters had happened in 2000, 2013 and 2018, when toxic waste from unused mines in Romania had reached Hungarian riverways.

“I am convinced that we must resolve this dangerous situation without delay,” Áder said, adding that the ecosystems of Hungarian rivers have been “extremely fragile since the devastating cyanide spill of 2000”.

Disaster Management Authority: Concentration of Zinc, Copper, Aluminium, Iron in Szamos River below Threshold
Disaster Management Authority: Concentration of Zinc, Copper, Aluminium, Iron in Szamos River below Threshold

The concentration of zinc, copper, aluminium and iron has been below threshold value in water samples taken from the Szamos River near Csenger at the Romanian border, in north-eastern Hungary, the national disaster management authority OKF said on Thursday. The authority earlier reported above-threshold values of zinc, copper, aluminium and iron in samples taken early […]Continue reading

“Mutually agreed obligations” under international agreements offer legal ways “to take a firm stance against polluters” and to prevent further damage to the environment, Áder said in his letter.

Featured photo illustration by Tibor Illyés/MTI