The matter of the construction of the planned waste processing plant, for the purpose of recycling plastics and rubber, in the industrial park of Štúrovo (Párkány) has pitted group interest against public interest, SMK–MKP (Party of the Hungarian Community, Slovakia) MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Pál Csáky stated in Brussels on Monday, as reported by Hungarian news agency MTI, adding that the petitioners are fighting for public interest to prevail.

The MEP said on the first hearing on the case with the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions on Monday that the realisation of the project relating to the incineration plant would constitute a serious risk to the environment on both sides of the Danube River, taking into account the experts reports. The signatories of the petition and the petitioners expect the European institutions to convince the Government of Slovakia and the Slovak Environmental Agency not to issue the building permit until the issuance of the European Commission’s opinion. The MEP expressed his hope that the EP’s committee and the European Commission’s experts will take a stand against the implementation of the plan that ‘would lead to the destruction of cultural values of the region’.

Tamás Lukovics, the SMK–MKP’s candidate for mayor of Štúrovo, stated that nothing illustrates the importance of the case better than the approximately 8000 petition signatories — the petition has already been provided to the Slovak line Ministry — owing to the party’s coordinating efforts. He also pointed out that the region has not realised its potential owing to its natural characteristics, which would basically be made impossible by the environmentally damaging investment that is in stark contrast to the town’s long-term vision.

Dániel Zoltai, representative of the local government of Komárom-Esztergom County (Hungary), said that, according to the petition submitted and presented at the hearing on Monday jointly by him and SMK–MKP’s local government representative László Szigeti, the realisation of the project relating to the waste processing plant would cause a serious risk to the environment and a health risk for the people living there.

The representative considers it unacceptable that the Slovak Government and the town council fail to listen to the people there and the eleven NGOs siding with those who oppose the investment and also overlook environmental concerns in order to ensure the realisation of the project. Mr. Zoltai said that it has been made clear to the European Parliament that the environmental impact assessment documents relating to the planned waste processing plant in Štúrovo are technically contradictory, replete with misstatements, and largely incomplete. Neither the safety risks related to the technology nor the real effects of the investment on the environment can be found in the documentation. The quite brief technical specification reveals its author’s serious gaps in knowledge on chemistry and technology, and the environmental impact assessment documents fail to address the possible effects of work-related accidents on the environment in substantive terms.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions declared the petition against the planned waste incineration plant in Štúrovo admissible in April and invited the European Commission to look into various aspects of the case.

(MTI, 24 Sept 2018)