Toxic waste dumping raises inspectors’ concerns

Toxic industrial waste is being passed off as bio-compost and sold to farms, even organic ones, while the area around Yliki Lake ? which supplies much of Attica with water ? is gradually becoming transformed into an industrial waste dump, Skai television reported on Tuesday.

According to reports made available to Skai, the Environment Ministry has known about the uncontrolled dumping since 2007, but had sealed the file as confidential until 2009, after which the case was handed over to a team of health inspectors, who, in turn, applied to the Citizens? Protection Ministry recently to conduct an investigation into the matter.

The inspectors? report to the ministry was emphatic: specific companies named in the report were found to be dumping industrial and other toxic waste on behalf of several Greek industrial units and multinational corporations.

Inspectors? concerns were further heightened after a sample of compost produced by one particular company and sold to farms in the broader Viotia region was found by researchers at the Demokritos Center for Scientific Research to contain high levels of dioxins, which could pass into the food chain.

Investigations also discovered a ?significant dispersion of pollutants? in Oinofyta, an agricultural region in Viotia that supplies much of Attica?s produce, and as far as Evia and Argolida in the northern Peloponnese.

Concerns, however, are greatest about the level of damage that is being done to the water table at Lake Yliki. The inspectors? report found that ?waste processing units in the Municipality of Aliartos are in close proximity to Lake Yliki and have been transformed into a dumping ground for toxic waste. The uncontrolled pollution they generate poses a significant hazard for the environment overall and the water table more specifically.?

Currently under judicial investigation are several companies named in the report, which are suspected of paying regular waste processing units under the table in order to have their industrial waste removed, processed and sold off as compost or dumped along with other non-toxic waste.

The complicity of local authorities turning a blind eye to landfills and waste processing units being used by companies to ?launder? their toxic waste is also under investigation.