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Vidin air pollution, Bulgaria


Vidin town has been suffering heavy air pollution since the socialist period. Contaminants are due both to local polluters - chemical factory, pulp mill, and an incinerator for dead animals - and outside air pollution coming from a shoe factory in Romania. After the fall of socialism, these industries were shut down; however, the town is currently the second most air polluted in Bulgaria with dust particles over 10 ppm. This is mostly due to the use of coal as fuel for household heating due to the economic crisis.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Vidin air pollution, Bulgaria
Location of conflict:Vidin
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Chemical industries
Specific commodities:
Manufactured Products
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Type of populationUrban
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Global warming, Noise pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:After the socialist regime collapsed in the end of 80s demonstrations stopped the last major polluter - the chemical factory.
However, contaminants in the air persist until today.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Council Directive 96/62/EC
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In 2007, Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers adopted the National Programme for Restricting Overall Annual National Emissions of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, Volatile Organic Compounds and Ammonia, which advocates even lower levels for the emission of thes
[click to view]

Directive 2008/50/EC

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

[click to view]

Environmental News Network
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Todor Slavov
Last update08/04/2014
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