Lviv, nearby villages may be declared as environmental disaster area

Lviv, nearby villages may be declared as environmental disaster areaLviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy has called on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman to declare Lviv and the villages of Malekhiv and Hrybovychi an environmental disaster area.

A post on the website of Lviv City Council reads that Sadovy explained his request by the law of Ukraine on environmental disaster area, according to which territories "which pose threat to life and health of many people or may cause major material harm to legal entities, individuals or the environment as a result of excessive environmental pollution, a shattering impact of natural disasters or other factors" should be assigned with such status.

"We are facing two key problems today. The first one is the situation at the main landfill [in Hrybovychi]. There is a risk of another landslide, hence a threat to water reservoirs with infiltration. We have reinforced the dam so far and temporarily stabilized the situation, however we need the government's help," Sadovy said.

According to the mayor, the situation with garbage removal from Lviv is the second problem.

"We have settled this problem temporarily and we remove garbage to other towns in the region. However, I am stressing that it is a temporary solution. Some communities regard Lviv's problem with understanding, while the other use political leverage. We are speaking about the safety of a city with the population with more than 700,000 people. We inherited this landfill from the Soviet Union. We have clear plans to resolve the problem, but we need the government's help," he said.

Sadovy stressed that three main tasks should be fulfilled.

"First of all, we have to find a place for garbage removal from Lviv and eliminate the environmental threat to the city. Secondly, the Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Economy Ministry should speed up the approval procedure for a cooperation project with the European Investment Bank on the remediation of the landfill in Hrybovychi and the construction of an advanced waste disposal plant. A relevant document has already been considered by the Cabinet of Ministers for two months and Lviv has a chance to become the first Ukrainian city to settle the waste treatment problem in line with the European standards," the mayor said.

Sadovy added that the third task was a fair investigation into the fire at the landfill.

"There are all signs of arson at the landfill during which people were killed and an environmental threat emerged," Lviv mayor said.

Read also: Bodies of three victims of landfill landslide found - Lviv Emergencies Service (VIDEO)

As reported, on May 30, a landslide of over 100,000 cubic meters of garbage happened at the city dump near the village of Hrybovychi outside Lviv. As a result, four people were trapped under the garbage. The bodies of three rescuers who participate in fire extinguishing have been found. A municipal environmental specialist has not been found.

The landslide might have been caused by a fire, which broke out at the dump a few days earlier.

The police opened criminal case over the breach of security during the work at hazardous facilities.

Later on, the Security Service of Ukraine opened a criminal case on arson at the landfill under the neglect of duty article of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
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