Challenging Bulgarian coal plants’ new waste burning obsession

(EurActiv, 2 Mar 2020) On Monday (March 2), a European and a Bulgarian non-governmental organisation, ClientEarth and “For Earth – Access to Justice”, are filing a complaint with the European Commission in an attempt to challenge Bulgaria’s new obsession of burning waste in coal plants. Dominique Doyle, Janek Vähk and Meglena Antonova explain the move.

Dominique Doyle is a lawyer with ClientEarth; Janek Vähk is the climate, energy and air pollution coordinator at Zero Waste Europe; Meglena Antonova is a campaigner for Greenpeace Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian coal industry has been under fire for years, for the vast government subsidies it receives, the unsafe working conditions and unjustifiable pollution, affecting people all over the country.

Under pressure to reduce certain toxic emissions, the coal industry has now turned to another, equally problematic practice: burning waste. The authorities have recently started investigating power plant Bobov Dol and its director but these investigations do not cover the full extent of the problem.

The practice is not only happening in Bobov Dol. Over the past year, the Bulgarian government has secretly allowed three old and polluting coal power plants ­­­– Bobov Dol, Brikel and Republika Pernik – to burn huge quantities of waste, alongside coal, without the required permits.

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EurActiv, 2 Mar 2020: Challenging Bulgarian coal plants’ new waste burning obsession