Vidin air pollution, Bulgaria


Vidin town has been suffering heavy air pollution since the socialist period. Contaminants are due both to local polluters - chemical factory, pulp mill, and an incinerator for dead animals - and outside air pollution coming from a shoe factory in Romania. After the fall of socialism, these industries were shut down; however, the town is currently the second most air polluted in Bulgaria with dust particles over 10 ppm. This is mostly due to the use of coal as fuel for household heating due to the economic crisis.

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Basic Data
NameVidin air pollution, Bulgaria
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Chemical industries
Specific Commodities
Manufactured Products
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationUrban
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 MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Global warming, Noise pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.After the socialist regime collapsed in the end of 80s demonstrations stopped the last major polluter - the chemical factory.

However, contaminants in the air persist until today.
Sources and Materials

Council Directive 96/62/EC
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In 2007, Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers adopted the National Programme for Restricting Overall Annual National Emissions of Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, Volatile Organic Compounds and Ammonia, which advocates even lower levels for the emission of thes
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Directive 2008/50/EC


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Environmental News Network
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Meta Information
ContributorTodor Slavov
Last update08/04/2014