Originally a lively and beautiful river Bečva was poisoned by cyanides on almost forty kilometers. The cyanide leak occurred on Sunday, September 20th, 2020, when dead fish appeared floating in the river. Due to cyanides binding to respiratory enzymes, it poses a danger to all oxygen-breathing organisms. They are highly dangerous for aquatic organisms and have poisoned all fish in various rivers several times (see photo gallery below).
Sign on "Poisons Free Rivers" initiative!
The cyanides that have turned Bečva into a dead river are the culmination of more and more frequent leaks of toxic substances into the waters. Water protection has abated due to insufficient monitoring of toxic substances and is also a consequence of the benevolent permitting of other increasing sources of pollution.
We therefore ask:
Proper investigation of the accident that occurred on September 20th, 2020 in Bečva under Valašské Meziříčí, and exemplary punishment of its perpetrators.
Not only cyanides are threatening water, but a number of other chemicals, which are not even measured and its storage in the vicinity of watercourses is not sufficiently limited, also poison life in them. To increase the prevention of water pollution, we therefore call for an improved monitoring of toxic substances, namely:
- For cyanides, lowering of the reporting thresholds to the Integrated Pollution Register (IPR) so that discharges and handling of these highly hazardous substances can be monitored better.
- Reducing the IPR reporting thresholds for other hazardous substances in water discharges and waste.
- Tightening limits on discharges of substances dangerous for aquatic organisms, including copper and zinc.
- Monitoring of a wider range of substances that endanger surface-water as well as drinking-water quality, including a wide range of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS). We request their inclusion in the list of substances reported in water discharges and waste (to the IPR).
- Publication of an easily accessible list of old environmental burdens from which toxic substances contaminating aquatic organisms and fish are permanently leaking.
- Elaboration of a plan to reduce the mercury loads on the watercourses and fish.
In Prague and Ostrava on September 26th, 2020
Addressees: Government of the Czech Republic, Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic, Parliament of the Czech Republic, regional and municipal councils, regional and municipal authorities