Poles smell pollution

How does pollution smell? Polish environmental authorities have been to Norway to learn how the Norwegians treat companies that «stink».

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“We have shown them how we supervise polluting industries. Polish authorities have stated that our cooperation is important for their ability to follow up environmental standards,” says Andre Kammerud, head of the international section of the Norwegian Environment Agency.

In April representatives from the Polish environmental authorities visited Norway to learn more about how they handle odour problems from sewage plants and industry.

They visited the waste facilities Glør at Lillehammer and Lindum in Drammen, and brought odor samples to the laboratory Molab in Oslo for further analysis.

“The rules for how much odor Norwegian businesses can emit are strict. Proper routines for locking doors, maintenance of sanitation systems, technology and good odor management plans are effective and mitigate complications. We hope the Polish authorities can learn from our experiences,” says Kammerud.

Learning from each other

With support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants, the Norwegian Environment Agency have exchanged experiences with the Polish environmental authorities for several years.

The strengthening of the Polish Contamination Authority through the EEA Grants began in 2007. The Polish counterpart to The Norwegian Environment Agency follows up on 53.000 companies and conducts approximately 16.000 controls every year.

Cooperation with Norway has given the Polish authorities:
• An efficient data management system
• Improved methods for monitoring the industry
• Modernised and customised equipment for conducting controls
• Tools to communicate environmental performances to the public

“Through joint meetings and study visits, we have shown Polish inspectors how we work and how our systems work in Norway, and we have attended meetings in Poland to learn how they work. It has been very educational for both us and them,” says Kammerud.

The results of the collaboration will help the Polish environmental authorities to monitor polluting industries and  help them meet the increasingly stringent environmental requirements.

Read more about the Polish 'Improving environmental monitoring and inspection' programme