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'Dead fish everywhere' in Germany, Poland, after feared chemical waste dump

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  • 'Dead fish everywhere' in Germany, Poland, after feared chemical waste dump

    'Dead fish everywhere' in Germany, Poland, after feared chemical waste dump

    Issued on: 13/08/2022 - 08:00
    Modified: 13/08/2022 - 07:59

    Schwedt (Germany) (AFP) – Thousands of fish have washed up dead on the Oder river running through Germany and Poland, sparking warnings of an environmental disaster as residents are urged to stay away from the water.

    The fish floating by the German banks near the eastern town of Schwedt are believed to have washed upstream from Poland where first reports of mass fish deaths were made by locals and anglers as early as on July 28.

    German officials accused Polish authorities of failing to inform them about the deaths, and were taken by surprise when the wave of lifeless fish came floating into view.

    In Poland, the government has also come under heavy criticism for failing to take swift action.

    Almost two weeks after the first dead fish appeared floating by Polish villages, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that "everyone had initially thought that it was a local problem".

    But he admitted that the "scale of the disaster is very large, sufficiently large to say that the Oder will need years to recover its natural state."

    "Probably enormous quantities of chemical waste was dumped into the river in full knowledge of the risk and consequences," added the Polish leader, as German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke urged a comprehensive probe into what she called a brewing "environmental disaster".

    Mateusz Morawiecki

    Yesterday at 9:08 AM ·

    Ladies and Gentlemen!

    The situation related to the poisoning of one of the largest Polish rivers - the Oder - became the most important topic of public debate within a dozen or so hours.

    I fully share your concerns and indignation about this issue and will do everything possible to minimize the effects of the contamination and its impact on the ecosystem as soon as possible.

    We want to find the guilty parties of this scandal, this ecological crime on a huge scale, and punish them as severely as possible! I have instructed the relevant services to act.

    The situation we are dealing with was by no means predictable, but the reaction of the relevant services could certainly have been faster.

    Therefore, I made the decision to resign immediately:

    ❌Przemysław Dacy, the head of Polish Waters

    ❌Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection Michał Mistrzak

    Lessons will be learned for the future and procedures improved. The accountability of officials is important, but what we care most about right now is the protection of people and nature.

    We are still not 100% sure as to the causes and source of the poisoning, but there is no doubt that we are dealing with one of the most serious environmental contaminants for a long time.
    Its causes are under investigation by all Polish state authorities that have the appropriate competences, equipment and knowledge.

    I treat the matter of Odra poisoning as the highest priority and I am in constant contact with the Ministry of Infrastructure , Ministry of Interior and Administration , Ministry of Climate and Environment , voivodes and other authorities and services fighting the effects of the contamination.

    At the moment, we operate in accordance with the adopted procedures and recommendations of experts. More information is coming hour by hour and we will keep you posted on developments and protect all those exposed. HhGX4MZJ6vynNGW9aDPWWl/?d=n


    More dead fish in another Polish river

    13.08.2022 15:00

    Another mass fish die-off has been reported in the river of Ner, in the central Łódzkie voivodship, following a similar incident in the Oder River, which flows through Poland and Germany.

    Local authorities have called an emergency meeting to investigate the reports of dead fish.

    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Polish scientists only found elevated salt levels after thousands of dead fish were found floating in the central European waterway

    Philip Oltermann in Berlin
    Mon 15 Aug 2022 12.47 EDT

    Mystery continues to surround the cause behind a “catastrophic” mass die-off of fish in the Oder River, after Polish scientists said laboratory tests found elevated salt levels but no other toxic substances in the central European waterway.

    German municipalities have banned bathing and fishing in the Oder after thousands of dead fish were found floating in the 520 mile (840km) river, which runs from the Czech Republic to the Baltic Sea along the border between Germany and Poland.

    Conservationists expressed fears that the mass die-off could wreak havoc on the entire ecosystem of the Oder. “We have to see how the bird population develops and what will happen to the racoons and otters,” Karina Dörk, a district administrator of Germany’s Uckermark region, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. “It is a catastrophe that will stay with us for years.”



    Translation Google

    Communication on water tests in the border Odra river

    Published: August 15, 2022

    Testing water samples from the border Odra on the Polish side in the province Lubuskie Voivodeship, conducted continuously and carried out by the Central Research Laboratory of the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, did not confirm the presence of mercury.

    Below we publish the results of Polish research

    At the same time, we present the test results and maps of the points where the samples were taken, made available by the German side today, i.e. on August 15 this year. The analysis of the sampling maps showed that the sampling by the Polish side was carried out along the border of the border Odra in the province of Lubuskie. On the German side, the samples were collected in the oxbow lake and tributaries of the Oder. (Below are sample maps)

    Tests carried out by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection did not confirm the presence of mercury in the Odra on the Polish side in the province. Lubuskie and West Pomeranian voivodeships. It should be added that the State Veterinary Inspection has ruled out mercury as the cause of fish death.


    11 August

    After the media information on the German side of August 11, about the presence of mercury in the Odra River, the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection immediately began to check the accuracy of the information. He ordered provincial inspectorates to carry out detailed research.

    August 12

    On August 12, the Ministry of Climate and Environment asked the German side to send the results of laboratory tests.

    August 13

    In the correspondence sent at the request of the Polish side, the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection of Brandenburg confirmed only the analysis of water temperature, air temperature, pH, electrolytic conductivity (i.e. salinity), total organic carbon, phosphates and nitrogen compounds. The data provided at that time was identical to the Polish analyzes carried out at the same time.

    In the message sent on August 13 this year. by the German side in the list, there was no analysis of the presence of mercury in the Oder river.

    After receiving this information, the Polish side on the same day asked once again to submit the results of the research in terms of mercury tests. The German side then informed that it had provided all the results it had. The German side informed that other analyzes, without specifying what kind, will be conducted at the beginning of the next week.

    15 August

    Today, August 15 at At 12.00, the German side sent the results of the tests of the collected samples. The results of German laboratory tests show the presence of mercury and indicate that the standards for surface waters are exceeded. This indicator does not exceed the limits for drinking water.

    In the report of laboratory tests sent with the attached map of the collection sites, it turns out that these are collection points made not in the main stream of the Odra, but only in its tributaries or oxbow lakes. On the other hand, water samples collected by the CIEP laboratory are collected point-wise in the main stream of the Odra River.

    We emphasize that the test of water samples from the border Odra on the Polish side in the province Lubuskie Voivodeship did not confirm the presence of mercury.

    Mercury is an element that occurs in various chemical compounds in the natural environment, also in the aquatic environment. Mercury compounds are both present in flowing water, and especially accumulate in bottom sediments of rivers, canals and water reservoirs. Higher concentrations of various types of mercury compounds may occur due to, for example, the industry operating in a given area. After shaking the river bed, mercury compounds can be released in greater amounts, then mercury appears in points in research trials. Therefore, tests for the presence of mercury compounds and other heavy metals are always repeated and carried out on an annual basis. If mercury is found, environmental services monitor and analyze the test results in terms of human and environmental safety.

    Polish research
    German research
    Collection points in Germany
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela


    • #3

      Poland pulls 100 tonnes of dead fish from Oder river after mystery mass die-off

      More than 500 firefighters deployed to haul in dead fish, using dams, boats, quad bikes and even a drone