2020 09 29
Back at the beginning of February, AB Grigeo Klaipėda, a cardboard manufacturer, addressed the Environmental Protection Department with a request to prepare and approve an environment restoration measures plan applicable to the company. With a view to accelerating the determination of the extent of the environmental impact when part of biologically non-treated sewage was released to the treated sewage collector of AB Klaipėdos Vanduo, the company itself initiated a study to be conducted by foreign experts. Now, the last stage of this study, hydrodynamic modelling, is nearing completion.
Klaipėda Prosecutor’s Office, which is currently carrying out a pre-trial investigation, is also investigating the fact and scope of the damage caused, while AB Grigeo Klaipėda has engaged independent foreign experts. At the beginning of April, investigation to assess the damage was launched by the international company TIG Environmental, which conducts various scientific studies to determine the contamination of water or groundwater not only in the current but also in the previous period.
“Like the majority of society, we hope that the pre-trial investigation will be completed already soon, damage will be determined and compensated, and the company will be able to turn the page and to start a new, blank one. We use various ways to regain the trust of people. The foreign experts have carried out an audit of environmental, occupational health and safety, and operational processes at the company and prepared a plan of measures, which we have already started to implement. We are also in the process of selecting a sustainability manager for the company, work on issues of odours that is relevant in the city of Klaipėda, while engaging foreign experts and experience of similar enterprises, and establish an open dialogue with society. Also, as investment in future, we have allocated EUR 0.5 million aid to Klaipėda University to train environmental specialist and to develop solutions for environmental pollution”, says Tomas Eikinas, the general manager of AB Grigeo Klaipėda.
The analysis conducted by TIG Environmental uses the data of monitoring carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, AB Klaipėdos Vanduo and Klaipėda Sea Port Authority, testing of the condition of the Curonian Lagoon performed by Klaipėda University as well as State Food and Veterinary Service and results of testing of AB Grigeo Klaipėda sewage conducted in independent laboratories. The investigation is led by Carlo Monti, Forensic Practice Managing Director at TIG Environmental. He is a scientist well-known all over the world and specialises in the fields of environmental forensic practice and chemicals environmental contamination.
“Many are wondering why specific extents, amounts and terms are not yet spoken about. Assessment of the impact on the environment is integral and requires exceptional competences and time, so the assesment conducted by both the Prosecutor’s Office and foreign experts have taken longer time. We are waiting for the results of the hydrodynamic modelling performed by TIG Environmental, which will help in determining the scope and intensity of the impact on the environment”, says Tomas Eikinas.
AB Grigeo Klaipėda already previously admitted that sewage had been managed improperly, the company assumes the responsibility falling on it and will seek to compensate the damage caused to the environment, once it is determined, by implementing an environment restoration measures plan. Pending the findings of the investigation, the company, in order to familiarise society with the situation, launched a special website www.grigeoklaipeda.lt, where actions to determine damage to the Curonian Lagoon are presented and sewage management solutions are provided in detail. Here, the company intends to continue to post relevant information related to the indicators of the production activities carried out by the company and environmental indicators, to present operational plans and to respond to matters of public concern.