State of emergency to be declared in the locality of the Slaná River

The Ministry of the Environment (MoE) of the Slovak Republic appeals to the Kosice District Office to declare a state of emergency in the locality of the Slaná River.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, this will speed up and simplify the work of the Ministry of Economy and the mining rescue services, which have been commissioned by the government to remediate the situation. The press department of the Ministry of the Environment informed about it.

The ministry has written to the District Office in the Kosice Region asking the competent authorities to use their powers and declare a state of emergency in the locality of the Slaná River. “The results of the analyses carried out two weeks ago by experts from the Slovak Water Company show that some indicators are still being exceeded in the immediate vicinity of the mine, but the water at the sampling point closest to the Hungarian border is satisfactory despite its discolouration. Manganese levels of 0.37 mg/l have been measured in the water near the border, while the standard is 0.3 mg/l,” the press department said.

The MoE recalled that on May 4, the government approved 200,000 euros for the Ministry of Economy to implement measures to prevent mining water from flowing into the Slana River. The aim of the MoE is to return the water level in the Slana watercourse to what it was before the pollution. “All the departmental organisations and the Rožňava District Office are actively providing assistance to this end,” the department added.

The Slaná River turned red in mid-February. The cause is the leakage of mining water from an iron ore mine in the area of the former mining enterprise Siderit, which operated in the village of Nižná Slaná until 2008. The results of the water analysis in the river showed that the iron level exceeded 12 times. Analysis of water samples also confirmed elevated levels of manganese and sulphates and the presence of arsenic.

The situation is also being addressed by the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate

The situation on the Slana River is also being addressed by the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate, according to which a technological line is to be built to treat the polluted water leaking from the mine into the Slana. The state enterprise Rudné mines has filed a criminal complaint in connection with the pollution of the watercourse. The company rejects claims that it has failed to fulfil its obligations.

Hungary is also demanding a solution from Slovakia and cooperation in the case. Balázs Orbán, state secretary of the government office, said this during interpellations in the Hungarian parliament on Tuesday.