An inventory of polluted areas across Lithuania now completed2016-05-24
The Lithuanian Geological Survey under the Ministry of Environment (“the Survey”) has completed an inventory of polluted areas nationwide. Over a span of 7 years, 100 polluted areas were examined in detail, and preliminary examination has included 250 polluted areas.
The first stage of the examination involved an inventory of potential sources of pollution across 39 municipalities. These included eight municipalities with data on sources of pollution (previously included in the inventory) now revised and updated. Stage 2 concentrated on top 10 cities nationwide. This stage included an inventory of 1,017 potential sources of pollution, to be found in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Alytus, Marijampolė, Utena, Telšiai, and Tauragė. For the most part (845), these included territories used for objects of industrial, energy, transport, and service purposes. These objects include repair shops, garages, industrial workshops, gas stations, oil storage facilities, boiler rooms, washing facilities etc. Vilnius tops the list of sites with highest number of potential sources of pollution (as many as 388).
Before the inventory, the municipalities were asked to name the areas they wanted examined first. A total of 250 objects, all situated on the State-owned land, were selected; then, preliminary eco-geological examinations were conducted in respective areas. The studies found over 50% of the said objects polluted.
A total of 100 areas characterised by highest pollution levels were designated for detailed examination. Almost half of these (44) include oil storage facilities. Other object examined included areas housing reservoirs, storage facilities, industrial workshops, machinery yards, gas stations, boiler rooms, etc. Examination found 85 objects polluted with oil products, 11 polluted with pesticides, and 6, polluted with heavy metals. The area of the ground water polluted is approx. 13 ha. Most common pollutants of the ground water include oil products, nitrogen compounds, pesticides and heavy metals. Total area of the water polluted may be approx. 15 ha.
For the purposes of examination, priority was given to areas with top pollution levels (based on preliminary examination). Top 50 areas with highest pollution level underwent an in-depth examination, followed by their treatment plans. This will prove very cost-efficient to the municipalities involved, since they will no longer need to arrange for the survey of the areas and drafting of treatment plans. These municipalities can then make use of the information provided by the Survey to draft applications for funding required for treatment of polluted areas.