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Due to Systemic Pollution: The operation of Bulgarian TPP “Maritsa” 3 was Stopped

The Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water – Haskovo suspends the activities of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD in Dimitrovgrad due to violations of air quality standards. Today, the inspectorate issued a coercive administrative measure to stop the combustion plant.

The decision is after a series of violations of the Environmental Protection Act and non-compliance with the conditions in the complex permit of the company, for which a number of administrative acts and penal decrees have been drawn up in recent months.

By shutting down the installation, the violations are stopped and the immediate danger of environmental pollution of the air component is prevented, which limits the risk to human health.

According to the order for imposing the measure, “TPP Maritsa 3” AD must stop working immediately. The fuel installation will be stopped today by forcible decommissioning and sealing of the fuel supply points (coal and biomass) to the boiler 380v for the production of electricity with a capacity of 370 MWth.

The operator has not complied with the condition in the complex permit for emissions of waste gases and emissions of sulfur dioxide have led to violations of the norms for content of harmful substances in the air of Dimitrovgrad.

The Ministry of Ecology reminds that in 2021, after the resumption of the operator’s work on May 25, 30 values ​​of sulfur dioxide were registered, which exceed the average hourly limit of 350 µg/m3 (with a statutory 24 values ​​per calendar year).

The data are from the automatic measuring station “Rakovski” in Dimitrovgrad. During one of the last inspections in February, the inspection found the release of visible unorganized emissions of harmful substances in gray-black color from the compromised areas of the boiler room building.

The ratio for combined combustion of coal and biomass has not been observed, which is also set as a condition of the permit – the violation has been established by the RIEW – Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water – every month since June 2021.

At the end of October, during an inspection on a dust signal, unorganized emissions of coal dust were found due to the lack of sheet metal cladding, damaged by corrosion and strong winds. On November 5, a repair order was issued, which has not been fulfilled so far.

From May to December 2021 in RIEW – Haskovo were registered 25 signals in connection with irregularities in the activities of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD – Dimitrovgrad, and in less than four months this year were submitted 20 more signals.

The term of action of a compulsory administrative measure is to bring the combustion installation in a condition that does not allow the imminent danger of environmental pollution by air component, as well as to prevent unorganized emissions of harmful substances found by control bodies.

The Ministry of Ecology also reminds that the exceedances of the norms for sulfur dioxide are the subject of a case of the European Commission against Bulgaria, which is at an advanced stage and a decision of the European Court of Justice and imposition of sanctions on our country is expected.

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