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Monday 18.02.2019 | Name days: Kintija, Kora
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Ventspils port: inspectors found no violations; coal sprinkling to increase

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUVentspils Commercial Port has plans to increase water sprinkling of coal heaps this summer to reduce drought and the possibility of the wind carrying coal particles into the air, representatives say. It is also mentioned that dust particle monitoring machines work day and night at coal-handling complexes to help control coal particle concentration in the air within acceptable limits (50 µg/m3).

It is mentioned that specialists from the State Environment Service have confirmed compliance of coal dust concentration with acceptable norms. Specialists visited the port and surveyed the situation together with representatives from the port. No violations were found.

«VCP performs all the necessary measures to reduce coal dust volumes. However, the company has no power over the heat and drought, or direction of the wind. Nevertheless, in spite of the weather, data from measurements performed by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre shows that the quality of air in Ventspils matches requirements of regulations and coal particle concentration levels in the air do not exceed permitted levels,» VCP representatives say.

Experts say coal dust is not the only source of air pollution. «We should not forget about transport and production plant emissions. In addition, coal freight volumes have declined significantly. Because of that, the volume of coal dust concentration in the air cannot be as high as it was in the past. VCP performs constant coal dust monitoring. Data control is performed by State Environment Service’s Ventspils Regional Office. So far it seems dust concentration fits acceptable norms.»

Similar to previous years, stone coal heaps are sprinkled with water regularly. A so-called water wall is created by sprinklers to prevent coal dust from spreading. Sprinkling is currently performed more intensely than before because of intense heat and strong wind, VCP stresses.

It is mentioned that VCP performs sprinkling of coal heaps in accordance with requirements of the law. This is confirmed by SES Ventspils Regional Office, specialists of which found no violations of acceptable air pollution levels when they inspected the port. «Considering cargo freight decline, the company actively works on attracting new cargoes. This includes replacing coal cargoes with more environment-friendly types,» VCP representatives say.

As previously reported, complaints were received from Ventspils residents regarding excessive pollution of the city’s air with coal dust particles, which left dark stains on people’s skin and clothes. 172 signatures were collected in two days in favour of sending a letter to the city council and State Environment Service with a request to ensure clean and safe environment for residents of the city.

After the news regarding coal dust problems in Ventspils reached his ears, Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards called SRS Director Inga Koļegova from vacation, who concluded that the air in Ventspils was of no threat to human health. She said the entire country currently experiences increased dust particle concentration in the air, which can be explained with hot and dry weather. She allowed that resident may have noticed the presence of coal dust particles when the wind pulled the dust in the air and carried them into the city.


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