Ecological disaster at Urinj

More frequent spills of fuel oil in Podurinj, Municipality of Kostrena, INA still does not know where the spills come from!

At the Žmergo Association’s Green phone on April the 27th citizens reported that in the coastal area around Urinj in Kostrena (harbor Podurinj) fuel oil has been spilt into the sea. Žmergo immediately reported the said incident to the competent services (Inspection of Environmental Protection, Water Management Inspectorate and the inspection at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure).

The environmental inspection already visited the site the following day (28th of April), and issued a warrant for the restoration of the area. The contamination was quickly repaired. Shortly thereafter, the same tragedy, but of a larger scale, occurred on May the 12th, and again there was a leakage of unknown quantities of hazardous hydrocarbon fuel oil from the INA oil refinery outside the protective dam, which has affected the coastal strip around Urinj - from the Refinery to the Podurinj harbor, including the sea.

Unfortunately, the residents of Kostrena are already accustomed to this kind of occasional pollution caused by the action of INA's refinery, but these occasional incidents are becoming more frequent, and the patience of residents is lessening. The second incident was reported by the villagers to the municipal policeman of the Kostrena Municipality, who came and performed the inquiry, and the entire case was reported to the relevant emergency services – Dezinsekcija d.o.o. company from Rijeka, the 112 emergency service, Port Authority Rijeka and the Water Management Inspectorate of Rijeka with attached photos. The INA d.d. company was also informed, and a request for urgent explanation was sent to the company. INA confirmed hydrocarbon leakage outside the protective dam but not the cause of the event as well.

Cleaning, immediately upon notification, was performed by workers of the Dezinsekcija d.o.o. from Rijeka at Monday, May 16th 2016, who were joined by representatives and activists from the Žmergo association from Opatija, Green Action from Zagreb and Greenpeace Croatia. The joint forces spent a day cleaning the pebble beach and cliffs of fuel oil – the contaminated gravel was deposited in designated barrels that employees of the Dezinsekcija d.o.o. loaded on a truck, and then drove them to cleaning. However, cleaning the whole area is surely to be followed by several weeks of hard work.