Yalova VOPAK Chemical Storage Terminal, Turkey


It is a project aiming to establish a storage terminal for 35 different types of carcinogenic, mutagen, inflammable, explosive and ignitable chemicals, herbal oils, petroleum and petroleum-derived products in 150 tanks with a capacity of a 710.000 m3 each. The terminal is planned to be established on a delta with dangerous alluvial and pervious based fault lines in a location as close as 1 km to the North Anatolian Fault Line near Taskopru region of Yalova with a population of 150,000 people living around 40 km2.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Yalova VOPAK Chemical Storage Terminal, Turkey
State or province:Yalova
(municipality or city/town)Ciftlikkoy district, Taskopru town
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants
Chemical industries
Specific commodities:35 Different Types Of Hazardous Chemicals, Hexane, Acrylonitrile, Toluene Etc.
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

m2 sea fill area m2 land area, 28 ha in total According to the TUBTAK (Turkish Scientific and Technical Researches Institution) report, a 40 km2 area is at risk.

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Project area:280
Level of Investment:40000000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:0-130,000
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Vopak
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, Provincial Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Yalova Governorship, Provincial Special Administration, Forestry Operation Directorate, Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, Provincial Directorate of Health, Taskopru County Municipality
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:TMMOB Yalova Chamber of Civil Engineers, TMMOB Chamber of City Planners Bursa Branch, TMMOB Yalova Chamber of Architects, ADD Yalova Association of Kemalist Thought, ASEF Association for Combating Groundless Armenian Allegations, Yalova, CYDD - Association in Support of Contemporary Life, Egitim-Sen - Education Union, Ecological Collective, Greenpeace Yalova Volunteers Group, Kamu-Sen- Public Union, City Council, Chamber of Women, NGO Working Group, MAGDER Neighbourhood Disaster Volunteers, Nenehatun Education and Mutual Aid Society, PAB Thursday Evening Cyclists, Turk-Sen - Turkish Education Union, TEMA - The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats, TEMAD - Turkish Retired Non-commissioned Officers Association, Turkish Pensioners Association, TGB Turkish Youth Council, Turkish War Veterans Association, TUKODER Consumer Protection Association, TUM-BEL-SEN Municipality and Local Government Labourers Union, TSD Turkish Handicap association, YACEP Yalova Environment Platform, YAFEM Yalova Folklore Training Centre, YAFOD - Yalova Amateur Photographers Association, Yalova Bar Association, Besiktas Football Club Supporters Association, Yalova Branch, Yalova Cem Foundation, Fenerbahce Football Club Supporters Association, Hand by Hand for Yalova Platform, Yalova Womens Solidarity and Social Aid Association, Yalova Chamber of Craftsmen for Shuttle Operators, Yalova New Life Handicapped People Association
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Other Health impacts-Poisonings (potential)

-Genetic disorders and mutagenicities due to the contamination depending upon stored chemicals.
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:With regards to choosing a wrong location with alluvial grounds and fault lines and the chemical leakages during 1999 earthquake, it is stated that establishing a chemical storage terminal in another region will be much better solution.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:An effective protest was organised at the EIA meeting of the project. Mistakes made in site selection were addressed in the final EIA process to the administrative representatives from Ankara. Although the EIA process was frozen, the master plans were approved by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation on its own motion. Objections were made and legal action was taken. Law courts still continue. The company announced that it would not store some types of chemicals upon reactions such as protest marches, hunger strikes, media and NGO oppositions following the EIA process. The company also stated that it will not store acrylonitrile after 6.500 tons of acrylonitrile leak disaster caused by Aksa Acrylic Inc. during the 1999 earthquake. The company was also asked to specify margins for a health protection strip. Within the framework of a scientific report, the requirement of establishing a health protection strip that covers the centre of Yalova for a 710.000 m3 storage was highlighted. This put the project to a dead end. Nevertheless, despite all the legal difficulties and EIAs suspension, the company has not announced the cancellation of the project. It is thus latent.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation

/25.000 Scaled Yalova Environmental Plan

Regulation on the Principles regarding planning

Unplanned Areas Building Bylaws

Non-sanitary Enterprises Regulation

Fisheries Law numbered 1380

Coastal Law numbered 3621

Fisheries Regulation

Legislative Decrees numbered 644, 648 and 653

Law on Meetings and Demonstrations

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Article by Yusuf Erbay, Assoc. Prof. Dr, Previous Mayor of Yalova.
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Yalova Gazetesi: Article by Yusuf Erbay, Assoc. Prof. Dr, Previous Mayor of Yalova. (Turkish)
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Yalova 77: VOPAK Yalova icin degil, bolge icin tehlikedir (VOPAK is dangerous for not only Yalova but also for the whole region Turkish)
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Yacep: VOPAK CEDinde buyuk tepki (Huge protest at VOPAK EIA Turkish)
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Milliyet: Yalovadaki kimyasal depolama tesisine tepki cig gibi (Avalanche-like response to chemical storage facility in Yalova Turkish)
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: Vopak ile Yalovayi bekleyen tehlikeler (The hazards pending for Yalova due to Vopak Turkish)
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Yacep: Yalovada kimyasal protesto (Chemical protest in Yalova Turkish)
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Haberturk: Turkiye Buna EVET demis olamaz (Turkey could not have said YES to this Turkish)
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Haberturk: Turkiye Yalovayi konusuyor (Turkey is talking about Yalova Turkish)
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Yacep: Yalovali tiyatrocular bu kez VOPAKa hayir dedi (Theatre Actors in Yalova said no to VOPAK Turkish)
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Newspaper articles:

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Yalovanin cevre mUcadelesine sanatcilardan videolu destek (Turkish)
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Il Genel Meclisinden VOPAK ve termik santrale hayir (Turkish)
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VOPAK CED BaSvurusunda Neler SOylendi? (Turkish)
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Yalovada termik santral ve vopaka hayir yUrUyUSU (Turkish)
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Other comments:The environmental movement in Yalova which started during local planning arrangements connected with the restriction of the mines in 2007 and continued with the public movement about the establishment of a coal-fired thermal power plant inside Aksa Acrylic Inc. factory in 2009 in Taskopru, spread all over the city with the attempt of building a chemical storage terminal by Royal Vopak. But it was not possible to provide continuity in these movements due to the weaknesses of NGOs and countermeasures deployed by industrial lobby through media, law and politicians. There is a lack of sincere local NGOs with an environmental concern. Environmental volunteers try to exert themselves to the utmost, but their efforts are not enough to combat against new pressures such as the city, gulf bridge, organized industrial zone.

This conflict is also related with other projects in the area. In the scope of Aksa-Dow partnership, it is planned to establish a chemical storage unit with a capacity of 50.000 tons of acrylonitrile. The terminal will be located 200 meters from the coal-fired thermal power plant with 645 MW power.
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Contributor:Kemal Bayri
Last update08/04/2014