Bulgarian Oligarch's Defunct Facility Causes Toxic Spill

Environment | May 6, 2012, Sunday // 13:52|  views

Controversial Bulgarian businessman Nikolay Banev is facing a hefty fine for a toxic leak at a destitute facility he owns. Photo by BGNES

A large reservoir for storing chemical substances has caused a toxic leak Saturday afternoon in the industrial town of Devnya, near the northern Black Sea coast.

Upon learning about the potential danger, Devnya Mayor, Atanas Kuzev, has called the fire department and convened the municipality's crisis headquarters.

Firefighters and fire trucks have been dispatched immediately to the location. The office of the Varna Region Governor assures in an official statement that local residents are not in danger over the spill, while Regional Governor, Dancho Simeonov, visited the scene in person to make sure there is no hazard for the town and the nearby villages.

The reservoir contained over 2.5 thousand metric tons of trichloroethane. Employees mending it report they have noticed the leak immediately and managed to control it. They assure the substance is no more harmful than fumes when painting with oil paint.

The reservoir is inside the destitute "Polymers" plant, owned by controversial businessman Nikolay Banev. Just two weeks prior to the incident there had been a probe which established the storage of large amounts of harmful substances way beyond their expiration date. The commission ordered for them to be treated at a suitable facility, but it emerged that such facility does not exist in Bulgaria and the company had made the commitment to find one abroad.

Regardless, Banev is facing a fine of anywhere between BGN 10 000 to BGN 100 000 with the Mayor blaming "Polymers" for the hazardous situation. The leaks are said to have been caused by the obsolete equipment/reservoir.

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Tags: Nikolay Banev, toxic, leak, reservoir, destitute, Devnya, Varna, Dancho Simeonov


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