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Ecological disaster on the Oder River. “Fact”: presidents of environmental protection funds got bonuses

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The case of the ecological catastrophe on the Oder has not yet been properly clarified, no one has had time to bear the legal consequences for the mass fish kill and the degradation of the ecosystem. Meanwhile – as “Fact” has established – the presidents of the Provincial Funds for Environmental Protection and Water Management from two provinces received high bonuses for last year.

From the end of July, fish plague was observed in the Oder River. By mid-September, a total of about 250 tons of dead fish were collected in five provinces, including perch, bream, zander, pike, burbot. Other species also disappeared – birds, mammals, snails. The ban on entering this river has been introduced in the following voivodeships: Zachodniopomorskie, Lubuskie and Dolnośląskie. Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moscow informed that the Inland Fisheries Institute in Olsztyn found the so-called golden algaewhose bloom can cause the appearance of toxins that are deadly to fish and mussels.

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The presence of toxins was confirmed by the research of Gdańsk scientists. Comparative studies have also been performed laboratories in the Czech Republic, England and the Netherlands; Czech results are comparable to Polish. Due to the situation on the Oder River, the Prime Minister dismissed the head of the Polish Waters, Przemysław Daca, and the Chief Inspector of Environmental Protection, Michałmistrzak. It can take decades to rebuild an ecosystem. According to “Fakt”, however, this did not prevent the awarding of the presidents of the Provincial Funds for Environmental Protection and Water Management from Lower Silesia and Lubuskie.

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Disaster on the OderTVN24

Bonuses for CEOs from Wrocław and Zielona Góra

According to “Fakt”, the management board of the fund in Wrocław – in the persons of President Łukasz Kasztelowicz and his deputy Bartłomiej Wiązowski – received a gross bonus of PLN 170,772. For what exactly and how did they split the bounty? This is no longer known.

Read in Konkret24: Hypotheses of the Moscow minister about contamination of the Oder River. Experts judge

A much smaller amount, although still a considerable injection of cash, satisfied the management of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Zielona Góra in the Lubuskie Voivodship, through which the Oder also flows and which, like Lower Silesia, suffered heavily in connection with the disaster. “Fact” writes that the head of the unit Mariusz Herbut and his deputy Ireneusz Madej divided 36,56 zlotys between them, and the directors received 17,518 zlotys.

READ ALSO: Scientists: The situation of the Oder River is still tragic, no millions will help.

Both presidents, both from Wrocław and Zielona Góra, performed their functions in 2022, when the disaster occurred, and anglers filled bags with dead fish for several hundred kilometers. Both remain in their positions.

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Funds from other voivodeships, such as Opolskie or Zachodniopomorskie, through which the Oder flows, did not receive similar bonuses. TVN24 reporter Radomir Wit wanted to find out why the heads of funds from Wrocław and Zielona Góra were awarded. The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management informed us that it is the voivodes who directly supervise the funds in the voivodeships.

Disaster on the OderTVN24

Biejat: everything turned on its head

Radomir Wit on TVN24 reminded, among other things, that the governor of Lower Silesia Jarosław Obremski only in mid-August returned to work after vacation and did not agree with the allegations of the lack of action of the institutions subordinate to him, positively evaluating their movements.

The TVN24 reporter asked politicians in the Sejm about the matter, but rather those from the opposition or non-affiliated. The ruling party – as he said – did not really want to speak on this topic.

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– In Poland, we have everything turned on its head. For dismantling the judiciary system, you end up in the Constitutional Tribunal, and you get awards for an ecological disaster on one of the main Polish rivers. And there are no winners. The problem is that these tons of fish, this stench, this dead river serving as our natural resource, this is not the only such case. It is not a question of whether such a catastrophe will happen again, but when. And instead of looking for reasons, solutions to the problem, we have to pat everything, pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves rewards that everyone is hiding well – said Magdalena Biejat from the Left.

Disaster on the OderTVN24

Once a politician of the power camp, and today an independent senator, Jan Maria Jackowski stated that “the whole reaction to the reports of poisoning of the Oder was purely PR, not systemic and substantive”.

– No conclusions have been drawn for the future on what to do to avoid this type of situation. What’s more, people guilty of negligence, and they were, as was clearly stated by, among others, Minister Jacek Dekora, after all, a member of the government, did not bear the consequences, and as we learn from the media, they also receive rewards, well, this shows a certain duplicity of the team responsible for state, commented the senator.

Former Deputy Minister of the Environment in the government AFTER and PSL, and today a non-associated senator Stanisław Gawłowski added: – It is enough to be a faithful member and carry out the instructions, not even from Nowogrodzka, but there are some regional administrators. And they function that way. There is no idea related to care for the environment or water management.

Disaster over the Oder – photo from August 2022Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Main photo source: Marcin Bielecki/PAP

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