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Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria (All photographers) 

Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria (All photographers) 

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GP1SU9IU 
08/07/2020 
Greenpeace activists showed the red card to the coal industry in Bulgaria because of dangerous play with the health of people. They put a giant red banner saying “Coal out of the game” on a municipal football stadium, which suffered damage after the spill of coal ash from the pond of the oldest operational plant in Europe in a living area in the infamous coal-affected town of Pernik.

On 7 May 2020, during the lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the football field was flooded with a mixture of coal ash and water. The reason – a breach in the dike of the artificial lake for coal incineration waste from the local coal power plant Republica. Two neighbourhoods were promptly evacuated because of the imminent danger. The flood not only reached some of the houses but also the nearby river Struma (one of the biggest in Bulgaria, reaching Aegean Sea via Greece). The total size of the affected area reached 8,76 hectares, or around 12 football fields.

Three months after the incident the field is still not completely cleaned and decontaminated from the ash. This is not only rendering it completely unusable for sports, but generates another, new, source of air pollution for the city, similar to the coal ash pond itself. The facility should have been shut down and recultivated in 2016. Since 1973 when it was built, it has accumulated at least 26 million tonnes of ash from the Republica coal power plant.

The activists insisted this could not continue anymore and that a new site won’t solve the problem. We need a total transformation of the energy system based on renewable energy and power produced by the people. 
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Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria
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Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria
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Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria
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Red Card for the Coal Industry in Bulgaria
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