H άποψη της Erin Brochovich για τις ενέργειες για τον Ασωπό

28 10 2007

Αυτό που ίσως δεν ξέρει η κυρία Μπρόκοβιτς είναι ότι στην Ελλάδα τα μέτρα αυτά ξεχνιούνται μετά από λίγο καιρό.

Και ότι ανάλογα λίγο πολύ μέτρα συζητάμε εδώ και 11 χρόνια για τον Ασωπό…



Posted On: October 19, 2007 by Erin Brockovich

Healing Environmental Wounds

I’m about to visit the Asopos River. You may have heard of it; it is that river in Greece that has been in the news lately. I’ve talked about it before. It provides toxic tap water to tens of thousands of people, who have been getting sick and dying. Perhaps they should start calling it the red river, because now, because of the toxins, it runs red. That red is a potent reminder of all the people who have fallen victim to its waters.


The Chromium 6 content is over 400,000 times the amount that should be in groundwater. Of course, this is just one of the lethal cocktails that makeup the river. 85 industries have been operating and polluting along the river with no supervision, since the Greek government had designates the Asopos not a river, but a «sludge tube!» How would you feel about having no water source except a sludge tube?


But I have news. I received this email from Carol Kalin, of the U.S. Embassy in Athens:

Here is the letter:

Dear Ms. Brockvich,

Many people contacted the U.S. Embassy in Athens to express concern about the Asopos River, including from Friends of the Earth, following your August 25 post. We thought that you and they would be interested to know that the new Greek Minister of Environment Giorgos Souflias just announced a series of measures to protect residents living near the Asopos River, as well as a major probe to determine which companies have contributed to the pollution problem.


Like other U.S. Embassies around the world, we regularly discuss environmental issues with the Greek public — whose consciousness is rising rapidly — as well as with NGOs and the Greek government. From the U.S. Embassy in Athens, I thank you for your interest in our work and your support for our activities on behalf of the American people.

Carol Kalin, Spokesperson


So I looked into it.

AP tells us that last week a probe exposed 10 firms which have been dumping chemical waste into the Asopos. There is bad news and good news. Bad that manufacturers have been dumping, good that they have been caught red handed. In fact, they have been heavily fined, and their licenses revoked. At this stage of the investigation, more violators are expected to be discovered. Officials are searching for secret waste disposal pipes.


I applaud the Greek government, who is finally doing something, and the Greek Minister of Environment who is leading the way.


Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias announced the following measures are planned:

* The construction of a drainage network to channel toxic waste from local manufacturers away from the river

* The creation of a new irrigation network to supply residents of Oinofyta, Tanagra and Avlida with water from the River Mornos

* Two pollution-measuring stations in Oinofyta and in eastern Attica to monitor the presence of toxic substances in the river water.

* The delineation of «protected zones» in the area of the Asopos River

* Stricter restrictions on the activities of local manufacturers

* Harsher penalties for offenders.

Local officials want regular inspections and monitoring of water quality, a cleanup effort, and «staff boosts» to get the ball rolling.

So when I go back, I might even take a side tour and visit Kifissos River and Lake Koroneia. I’d like to take a look around there, where in spite of twenty-four million in funding, the lake protection project has been delayed–and two hundred birds were recently found there, dead. I wonder why.


When I go to Greece, I don’t expect to see a perfect river. But I am looking forward to seeing those bulldozers I read about in action or some other sign of clean up. There is a tough road ahead, but the hardest one–acknowledging the problem, has already begun.


I can’t wait to congratulate the Friends of the Earth, Giorgos Souflias, the locals and all the others who have worked so hard to bring awareness about this crucial issue. Most importantly, if everyone does their part, there will be a reward at the end of the day; and that will be when the people of Oinofyta, Tanagra and Avlida will have healthful, clean tap water, and the waters of the Asopos River again run sweet.






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