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Cross-border air pollution in Slavonski Brod, Croatia

Citizens of Slavonski Brod-Croatia refuse to breathe the most polluted air in Europe contaminated by the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod- Republic of Srpska, B&H.


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.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cross-border air pollution in Slavonski Brod, Croatia
State or province:Brod-Posavina County
Location of conflict:Slavonski Brod, Bosanski Brod
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The refinery processing line has a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year.

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Level of Investment:930,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:60,000
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:“Oil Refinery” j.s.c. Brod from Bosnia and Herzegovina - The polluter
Zarubezhneft from Russian Federation - The majority owner of the oil refinery in Bosanski Brod
JANAF -Jadranski Naftovod (JANAF) from Croatia - Supplies oil to the refinery in Bosanski Brod
Relevant government actors:The Government of the Republic of Croatia; The Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection; The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Croatia; The City of Slavonski Brod; The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mines of the Republic of Srpska; The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Citizens initiative ’’Kad ako ne sad. Brođani, ne dajte da nas truju’’; GRAĐANSKA INICIJATIVA ZA ČISTI ZRAK Slavonski Brod; Ecological associations "Eko Integral"; International association "Bikers of Europe"; Association of cyclists from Slavonski Brod; Music band "Brkovi"
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
International bikers organisation, local musicians
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Other Environmental impactsThe air pollution from the refinery includes high concentration of hydrogen sulfide 42 µg/m3 (limit value 7 µg/m3), sulphur dioxide 500 µg/m3 (350 µg/m3), benzene 16,2 µg/m3 (5 µg/m3), and PM 2.5 93,1 µg/m3 (25 µg/m3).
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impacts
Respiratory diseases; particular impact on the health of children and elderly.
There is no reference on particular diseases provoked by the refinery pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:The Croatian government and the citizens of Slavonski Brod demanded modernization of the refinery and installing of the air filters. As this did not happen the Croatian authorities decided to inform the European Commission on the case. As Bosnia and Herzegovina is not obliged to comply with EU regulations, the Croatian government might apply the economic measures such as preventing the refinery access to the Croatian market and infrastructure, which would further aggravate its difficult financial situation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The modernization of the refinery occurs at slow pace and the alarmingly high pollution continues.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Unatoč kiši, nastavila se borba za čišći zrak
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Desetak sati Brođani bili izloženi visokim koncentracijama štetnih plinova
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Hrvatska tuži RS i rafineriju nafte u Brodu zbog ekocida
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Bosnia Urged To Cut Pollution From Refinery
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U Slavonskom Brodu opet prosvjed zbog onečišćenja
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Uzbuna u Slavonskom Brodu: Truju nas. Gušimo se. Spasite nam živote!
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Brođani prosvjedovali protiv sporog rješavanja zagađenja
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Osnovano Povjerenstvo za praćenje poboljšanja kvalitete zraka
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Onečišćenje zraka u Slavonskom Brodu i dalje ključan problem
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Dug rafinerije u Brodu duplo veći od kapitala
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Dug Rafinerije pet puta veći od kapitala
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Rješenje za problem zagađenosti tek kad BiH ratificira Sporazum o pristupanju
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Rafinerija Brod glavni krivac za zagađenje Slavonskog Broda?
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Brođani udišu zrak opasan po zdravlje
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Optima: Rafinerija u remontu ne moze da zagadjuje Slavonski Brod
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GOLIĆ: Rafinerija Brod je u remontu i ne zagađuje okolinu
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Dobrović: Problem zagađenja zraka u Slavonskom Brodu je složeno pitanje
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Brođani zaustavili promet prosvjedujući protiv zagađenja
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Brkovi s maskama za čist zrak u Slavonskom Brodu
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Sporazum BiH i Hrvatske o zaštiti okoliša
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Hrvatski građani žele zatvaranje rafinerije u Bosanskom Brodu
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Europski bajkeri u maskama za čistiji zrak u Slavonskom Brodu
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U nedjelju 17. travnja tiha šetnja za čist zrak u Slavonskom Brodu
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Janaf sklopio ugovore vrijedne 500 milijuna kuna
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Ministar Šprlje zaprijetio zatvaranjem dotoka nafte Rafineriji Brod
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Slavonski Brod residents protest against air pollution caused by Bosnian oil refinery
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Slavonski Brod Fights for Better Air Quality
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U Slavonskom Brodu najzagađeniji zrak u EU
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Biciklijadu posvetili borbi za čist zrak
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S mislima na Hrvatsku, Rusi ulažu 760 milijuna eura u Republiku Srpsku
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Problem zraka u Slavonskom Brodu stigao do Europske komisije
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Protest Brođana zbog zagađenja iz rafinerije
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Rafinerija u Bosanskom Brodu stvara međudržavni problem
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SBTV - DNEVNIK - Novo zagađenje zraka - 19.08.2015.
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Preliminarni rezultati studije DHMZ-a: Rafinerija u Bosanskom zagađuje Slavonski Brod
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Slavonski Brod: Koga tužiti za to što udišu najzagađeniji zrak u Europi?
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Meta information
Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update17/05/2016
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