In 2007, the old oil refinery in the Bosnian city Bosanski Brod (the Republic of Srpska) has been sold to the Russian company Zarubezhneft. The new owner put into operation the old processing line of crude oil with the capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year. Hundreds of citizens of Bosanski brod have been employed by the company.
Since 2010 constant exceeding levels of air pollutant emissions have been measured in Slavonski Brod, a Croatian city located on the other side of the river Sava. The air pollution includes high concentration of sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ozone and particulate matter (PM 2.5). Slavonski Brod was ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency as the city with the worst air quality in Croatia in 2013.
The frequent occurrence of high air pollution provoked strong reaction of citizens of Slavonski Brod as well as the local and national authorities, which organised several protests in their city and in Zagreb - the capital.
In April 2013, the Republic of Srpska authorities denied the accusations claiming that the refinery counts with all environmental permits. The citizen of Bosanski Brod keep quite on the issue as the refinery is one of the main employers in the area.
In September 2013, the Croatia’s Minister of Environment and deputy CEO of Zarubezhneft held a meeting in Zagreb to discuss possible solution to the cross boarder air pollution, when the Croatian authorities proposed modernization of the refinery.
However, by the second half of 2014 the air quality in the city has not been improved, bursting in further citizens protests. In September 2014, the Croatian Ministry of Environment formed the specialized body for monitoring of air quality improvement in Slavonski Brod and keep citizens regularly informed on the authorities activities related to this problem.
The government of Croatia plan to file a lawsuit for cross border pollution to the European Commission against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Zarubezneft. In 2015 and 2016 the pollution has continued at the alarming level, while the citizens did not stop protesting. In April 2016, the governments of Croatia and B&H signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. The results of this cooperation are still to be seen. However, most likely the pollution problem will be solved only once Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified the EU Treaty of Accession, as currently it is not obliged to comply with the EU regulations. At present, the economic measures could be applied, such as preventing the refinery access to Croatian market and infrastructure. Namely, Croatian oil company JANAF is a main supplier of the refinery.