November 28, 2018
Two sub-sites on the grounds of Cinkarna Celje have been classified as having “serious contamination” with “remediation urgently required” in a report issued by CDM Smith on November 27, following the examination of surface water from the Hudinja and Ložnica rivers to assess their chemical burden prior to and after the rivers passage along Cinkarna Celje production site’s boundaries.
Although the measurements of Ložnica river contamination showed agreement with the assumed arsenic source, the existence of other currently unknown arsenic source areas along the Hudinja have to be taken into consideration. The report also calls for further investigation, which is required for a detailed assessment of the impact due to on-site zinc and chlorobenzene contaminated groundwater at two locations.
The contamination of the Cinkarna Celje area predates its current production of titanium dioxide pigment. From 1873 till 1968 the plant was mainly involved in metallurgy (Cinkarna means zinc plant), the industry responsible for the serious ongoing pollution of the site. Moreover, a major part of the current production facilities of Cinkarna was built on top of waste that had been generated throughout the 140 years of its operation.
Although several sub-sites were declared seriously contaminated, the two responsible for the contamination migration in connection to their ecological impact on the two rivers require, says the report, hydraulic containment measures to be taken immediately.