Accidental pollution incidents in the Danube River Basin can cause widespread damage to the environment, and endanger the health of local people and the state of local economies downstream. This was exemplified by the effects of the Baia Mare and Baia Borsa mine waste spills in Romania in 2000 or at the Aijka redsludge spill in 2010.
The ICPDR is working to prevent accidental pollution and to improve response capability by listing all relevant "Accident Risk Spots" in inventories, and by providing two tools to lessen the related risks:
- Recommendations on guidelines for the Danube states to improve the standard of safety measures at risk sites
- Checklists to help controlling technical safety levels at Accident Risk Spots.
Inventory of Accident Risk Spots
The Accident Risk Spots inventory encompasses operational industrial sites associated with a major risk of accidental pollution, due to the nature of the chemicals being produced, stored or used at the plants, as well as contaminated sites including landfills and dumps in areas liable to flooding. The inventory of operating industrial sites was finalised in 2001 for most of the Danube countries, and updated in 2003. The inventory of contaminated sites in flood-risk areas is under preparation.
The presence of a plant or site in the inventory only reflects a potential threat. The actual risk to the environment must be determined more accurately by assessing the effectiveness of existing safety measures in a thorough site analysis using the harmonized checklists. A pilot project focussed on the application of checklist in operating industrial sites was organised with the support of UNDP/GEF in 2005.
Map 8: Potential Accident Risk Spots (2.96 MB) Potential Accident Risk Spots Layers: Potential Accident Risk Spots (WRI 5-6, WRI 6-7, WRI 7-8, WRI 8-9)
Map 9: Old Contaminated Sites (2.94 MB) Old Contaminated Sites in Potentially Flooded Areas Layer: Old contaminated sites
ARS Inventory 2001 (1.16 MB) Inventory of Potential Accidental Risk Spots in the Danube River Basin, prepared by the ARS-ad-hoc Expert Panel of the AEPWS EG, November 2001