European Union status: Long-hidden toxic waste endangers Serbia's health

Published: 04th April 2018 01:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2018 02:01 PM  

In this photo taken Monday, March 12, 2018, a technician inspects a container on a farm where old barrels and plastic containers full of liquid were found in the northern town of Pancevo, Serbia. Discoveries such as these have triggered alarms in Serbia, where tons of poorly secured industrial waste are believed to be hidden. (File | AP)
Dozens of rusty barrels and plastic tubs filled with a dark, oily liquid cluttered a muddy yard where chickens roamed. More brimming containers packed a wooden barn. (File | AP)
In this photo taken Wednesday, March 7, 2018, Serbia's Environment Minister Goran Trivan speaks about hazardous waste during an interview to The Associated Press, in Belgrade, Serbia. The discovery of discarded hazardous waste have triggered alarms in Serbia, where tons of poorly secured industrial waste are believed to be hidden. Serbia’s environmental protection minister says the problem arising from decades of neglect, corruption and economic decay is dramatic. (File | AP)
The property in northern Serbia, located next to farmland and a railway line, stored about 100 tons of likely hazardous waste altogether, the country's environmental protection ministry said. (File | AP)
Authorities found it last month, along with another big batch cemented into the walls of a nearby brick factory. (File | AP)
A string of similar discoveries has triggered alarms in Serbia, where masses of poorly secured industrial waste are believed to have been dumped or hidden and could pose long-term environmental and public health dangers. (File | AP)
The problem has come into focus as Serbia and other Balkan nations move closer to joining the European Union, a step that ultimately will require their environmental protection standards to be in line with those in existing EU member countries. (File | AP)
Hazardous waste must be exported from Serbia to places such as Austria, Romania and Switzerland because the country does not have its own processing facilities. (File | AP)
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