The court rejected the request by TPP “Maritsa 3” to suspend the coercive administrative measure imposed by RIEW-Haskovo04 May, 2022 | 11:31
In its ruling the Administrative Court in Haskovo rejected the request by TPP “Maritsa 3” - Dimitrovgrad to suspend the preliminary implementation of the order by which the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Haskovo imposed a coercive administrative measure to close the plant. With its act the court practically confirmed the immediate implementation of the measure issued by the RIEW. The reason for the measure was a series of violations of the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act and the conditions of the Complex Permit, as well as prescriptions issued by the RIEW.
We remind you that the work of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD - Dimitrovgrad was suspended by a coercive administrative order by RIEW - Haskovo on April 21, 2022. The administrative measure against TPP “Maritsa 3” AD - Dimitrovgrad will remain in force until the combustion plant is brought in a condition, which does not entail dangerous environmental pollution and risks to human health.
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 and a decision by the Court of Justice of the EU and imposition of penalty fees on our country is expected.
At the moment TPP “Maritsa 3” is not working. The only licensed and certified automatic measuring station in the region of Dimitrovgrad reports that the average daily concentrations of sulfur dioxide are already normal, below the critical threshold of 125 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). For April 30 and May 1, those are 13 and 18 µg/m3, respectively.
The critical threshold of 350 µg/m3 applicable to hourly measurements is also far from the values reported in recent days. For both days they fall within the range of 4 µg/m3 to 65 µg/m3.
On May 2, a slight increase in sulfur dioxide levels was observed but values remained below the threshold. The average daily value is 71 µg/m3 and the average hourly range is from 8 µg/m3 to 215 µg/m3. A possible reason for the increase is the transfer of emissions from Galabovo as a result of the Northeast wind during the period.
For comparison, prior to the coercive administrative measure to suspend the activity of TPP “Maritsa 3” AD - Dimitrovgrad, only for the month of April 5 critical exceedances of the average hourly rate for protection of human health were reported. On April 7, the threshold was exceeded even twice, which means 3 consecutive hours with values above 500 µg/m3.
In the first four months of this year alone 20 reports of air pollution were submitted to the Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water by citizens, organizations, and companies. During this period, the automatic measuring station reported 8 exceedances of the average hourly rate. From May to December 2021, 25 signals were registered related to irregularities in the operation of TPP “Maritsa 3” and the exceedances reported for this period were 30.
For 2020, on the other hand, critical air pollution with sulfur dioxide in the Dimitrovgrad region has not been reported. It was during this period that TPP “Maritsa 3” did not operate.
TPP “Maritza 3” AD - Dimitrovgrad is the main source of sulfur dioxide emissions in the region. There are no other industrial sites in the city that generate and emit sulfur dioxide emissions. It is also possible that emissions are transfered from the Maritza East energy complex, but the lack or the minimum number of registered exceedances during the years when TPP “Maritza 3” was not working or had a minimum number of working hours clearly shows that the transfer from other sources is minimal, incidental and did not lead to significant air pollution in Dimitrovgrad.