Vital AD polluting Vrbas, Serbia

Since 2004, Vital AD - factory for edible oil and vegetable fats - is in the focus of NGO Ekoloski pokret Vrbas due to the negative effects of its activities on the environment of the town of Vrbas.


Description

Vital AD established in 1855 is edible oil and vegetable fats factory located in the town Vrbas on the Great Bačka Canal (Veliki Bački kanal).

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Basic Data
NameVital AD polluting Vrbas, Serbia
CountrySerbia
SiteVrbas
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Incinerators
Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesManufactured Products
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsVital AD is producing edible sunflower oil, vegetable fats, ketchup, margarine, mayonnaise, and mustard.

Closing the wastewater plant is considered a strategic move to save some 340,000 USD annually year for its maintenance.

Hundreds of tonnes of waste water were discharged to the canal so far, 500 to 800 m3 daily.

Around 800 people have been fired since the factory was privatized.

Approximately 6800 m3 of wastewater per day is directly emitted in the Great Bačka Canal without any treatment. No quantitative data on air emissions.
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population43,000
Start Date2004
Company Names or State EnterprisesVital AD from Serbia - Owner of the factory
Invej AD from Serbia - New owner of the factory
Relevant government actorsThe Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia; The Provincial Secretariat for Architecture, Spatial Planning and Environmental Protection; Province and Rebublic Inspectorate of Environmental Protection; Water Authority Vojvodina Vode; Anti-Corruption Agency Serbia; Municipality of Vrbas
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEkoloski pokret Vrbasa http://www.ekovrbas.net/; Primary schools “20th of October” and “Bratstvo i jedinstvo” Vrbas; Association “Beljanska bara” Turija; Ecological Movement of Srbobran; Sports association “Vinogradi”; Sports association “Mladost”; Group of citizens from Kula; and Local television station “Bačka”.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Recreational users
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
OtherRespiratory diseases.
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
There was no response.
Development of AlternativesThe activists are requesting implementation of the pollution abatement technology, as well as cancellation of Vital AD privatization contract.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Vital AD continues working without any changes in the production processes. In addition, the factory cannot be penalized because of the bad regulation. As of today, no decisions on the juridical case or the request for privatization repealing have been issued.
Sources and Materials
Links

Prijava protiv Vitala I zahtev za ponistenje privatizacije
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Garez gusi Vrbasane
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Prijava protiv Vitala
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Zagadjivanje kanala-treci dan
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Ekoloski teror Vitala
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Stetocine u akciji
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Protesti protiv Vitala
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Vrbas: Peticija i protesti zbog zagađenja
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"Vital zagađuje grad Vrbas"
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Protesti ispred Vitala na danu voda 2012.
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Састанак ЕПВ са руководством Витал-а из Врбаса
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Krivična prijava protiv fabrike Vital
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Ekolozi okrivili "Vital"
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Media Links

Vital pollutes again
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Slamcica u kanalu
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Vital zagadjuje
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Protest u Vrbasu 20.06.20130.
[click to view]

Protesti ispred Vitala
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Protesti na danu voda- NGO Performance on Danube Day
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Air pollution
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Vital pollutes the channel
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Vital pollutes
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Environmental Activism
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Protesti ispred Vitala na danu voda
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Protesti ispred Vitala
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Other Documents

Stop polluting Vrbas The protests from June 2013 after a two week of severe air pollution caused by Vital factory.
[click to view]

Air pollution Air pollution from AD Vital
[click to view]

Water pollution The factory emits its wastewater directly to the Great Bačka Canal
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorJovanka Spiric, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update23/05/2016
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