Redmud disaster Kolontar-Devecser, Hungary

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns">The red mud disaster of Kolontar and Devecser is considered to be one of the greatest ecological catastrophies of Hungary. The western dam of a toxic red sludge reservoir located at Ajka ruptured on October 4, 2010. Red sludge or mud is a byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, which took place at an alumina plant run by the Hungarian Alumina Production and Trading Company. As a result of the breach, the red mud contained there flooded the surrounding territory. The red mud reached surface water. The valleys of Torna and Marcal were polluted. There was a high risk of the pollution of Hungarys largest river, the Danube. It caused significant damage to the ecological and social structures of the region. 10 people died and the homes of 150 people were destroyed. One year later there had been some clean up, and MAL Hungarian Aluminum has been fined $647 million (472 million euros) for environmental damages. However, levels of toxicity are still dangerous. <br/><br/></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Redmud disaster Kolontar-Devecser, Hungary</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/hungary">Hungary</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Veszprem County</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Region of Kolontar</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Tailings from mines<br /> Mineral ore exploration</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/aluminum-bauxite'>Aluminum/Bauxite</a><br /></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">,000 cubic meters of red mud was spilled</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>1000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>67,7500,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>local habitants</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/mal-magyar-aluminium-ltd'>MAL-Magyar Aluminium Ltd.</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/hungary'><small>Hungary</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Minister of Internal Affairs, Director of the National Disaster Management Directorate, Under-secretary of the Ministry of National Affairs</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Hungarian Maltese Charity Service, Hungarian Interchurch Aid, Greenpeace</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LOW (some local organising)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>Mobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local government/political parties<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Social movements<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Increase in violence and crime</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Corruption<br /> Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area<br /> Court decision (victory for environmental justice)<br /> Court decision (failure for environmental justice)<br /> Migration/displacement<br /> Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution<br /> Under negotiation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Technological change and development.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Based on our results the management of the conflict cannot be considered a success of environmental justice. Although the financial remediation has been complete, local people still struggle with the psychological effects, and to their way of thinking they were not properly involved in the decision making process. There have been a lot of complaints of corruption during the remediation projects. </td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> /2001. Government Decree about activities with hazardous waste<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> /2001. Decree about catalog of waste<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> /2001. decree of waste disposal, as well as certain rules and conditions for the landfill<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> A flood of red sludge one year later<br/><a class="refanch small" href="http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/09/a-flood-of-red-sludge-one-year-later/100158/" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.wise-uranium.org/mdafko.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFFZ_Ljetk" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8AAHG0_KOc" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65QJpeGqPNU" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Gyorgy Malovics</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>08/04/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>
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