Biolar chemical company told to clean up its act over pollution scandal

The State Environment Service (VVD) has issued a "decision-warning" about partial suspension of operations at Olaine chemical plant Biolar – suspending the manufacturing of the chemical porofors, the LETA newswire reported June 5.

In line with the legislation, a warning is the first step of the suspension process. VVD inspections have discovered grave violations in management of hazardous waste and the company has been violating the regulations over a long period.

“The goal of the warning is not to actually suspend the company’s operations, but to give a clear signal that significant changes are necessary. Inspection results show that Biolar has been ignoring the environment protection regulations in a long term. The amount of hazardous waste that can be stored in the company at the same time has been exceeded 40 times and they have been stored inappropriately,” said VVD general director Elita Baklane-Ansberga.

VVD has given the company until September 5 to deal with the problems or face a potential shutdown of operations. VVD inspectors will monitor the company’s operations also during this time. Biolar has to submit a detailed plan on how the detected violations will be corrected.

In late May, VVD inspectors and police officers detained a polluter who had intentionally leaked chemical substances onto roadsides in Zemgale region.

The VVD received complaints from local residents about pollution with unknown substances on roadsides in a number of counties in Zemgale, and two days later detained a person whose vehicle had leaked the chemical substances in Jelgava and Bauska counties in a distance of several kilometers. A criminal process has been launched.

According to initial assessment, the substance is cyanide ions originating from Olaine chemical plant Biolar. Biolar makes various chemical products for the building and allied trades and says it "specializes in experimental developments in chemistry, production of technologically sophisticated chemicals, intermediate materials for the paint and coatings industry, and also produces ready-made paint and varnish materials of various applications, and construction, automobile, and household chemical goods."

VVD representative Maruta Buklevica told LETA earlier that so far there are no concerns about damage to human health, but residents are asked to be cautious and avoid the polluted roadsides.

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