Death lake cleanup program set in motion

Some seven months after a deadly bacterium, driven on by pollutants, killed almost 30,000 birds and hundreds of fish in Lake Koroneia, the government yesterday heralded a program to clean up its waters. At least 29 types of birds died at the lake, some 20km east of Thessaloniki, last September and people were warned to stay away from the area after an onslaught by the neurotoxin-producing bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Experts said that heavy pollution in the lake meant the bacteria multiplied much faster than usual. Now, Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias has proposed setting up two monitoring stations on the lake’s shores, to gather information on water pollution levels. The program will also set maximum permissible levels for a range of pollutants, which factories that discharge effluent into the lake will have to comply with by 2009.

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