Due to violations of air quality standards the activities of TPP “Maritsa 3” in Dimitrovgrad are suspended

21 Apr, 2022 | 13:05


The Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water (RIEW) - Haskovo suspended the activities of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD in Dimitrovgrad due to violations of air quality standards. Today the inspectorate issued a coercive administrative measure to stop the work of the combustion installation of the TPP.

The decision came after a series of violations of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and noncompliance with the conditions of the complex permit of the company, for which a number of administrative acts and penal decrees have been imposed in recent months. By shutting down the installation, the violations are stopped and the immediate danger from air pollution is prevented, which limits the risk for human health.

According to the order for the suspension, “TPP Maritsa 3” AD must stop working immediately. The fuel installation will be stopped today by forcible decommissioning and sealing of the fuel supply points (coal and biomass) to the OP 380v boiler for electricity production with 370 MWth capacity.

The operator has not complied with the condition in its complex permit for emissions of waste gases and the sulfur dioxide emissions have exceeded the norms for content of harmful substances in the air of Dimitrovgrad.

In 2021, after the resumption of the operator’s work on May 25, 30 values ​​of sulfur dioxide were registered, which exceed the maximum average hourly rate of 350 µg/m3 (with a statutory permission for 24  such values ​​per calendar year). The data was provided by the automatic measuring station “Rakovski” in Dimitrovgrad. During one of the last inspections in February, the inspection also found the release of visible unorganized emissions of harmful substances in gray-black color from the compromised sections of the boiler room building.

The ratio for combined combustion of coal and biomass has not been observed, which is also set as a condition within the complex permit - this violation has been established by the RIEW every month since June 2021.

At the end of October, during an inspection on a signal for dust, unorganized emissions of coal dust were found due to the lack of sheet metal cladding, which had been damaged by corrosion and strong winds. On November 5, a repair order was issued, which has not been acted upon by the company so far.

In the period May to December 2021 in RIEW - Haskovo 25 signals in connection with irregularities in the activities of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD – Dimitrovgrad have been registered, and this year in less than four months 20 more signals have been submitted.

The term of validity of the coercive measure holds until the combustion installation is brought into such a condition as not to present an immediate danger of environmental pollution by a component of atmospheric air within the meaning of Art. 4 of the EPA, as well as of unorganized emissions of harmful substances, ascertained by the control body under the EPA and the control body under the Spatial Planning Act.

We also remind you that the exceedances of the norms for sulfur dioxide are subject of a case by the European Commission against Bulgaria, which is at an advanced stage, whereby a decision by the Court of Justice of the EU is expected to impose sanctions on our country.