GB No. 4(19)/95
The Białowieża Forest-the only Polish site included on the World Heritage List and also UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Reserve - is endangered by huge transportation of extremely dangerous chemicals and gases. The Białowieża Forest Protection Society is now protesting against transporting from Belarus to Poland 1600 metric tons chlorine, 80.000 metric tons of ammonia and 160.000 metric tons of liquid propane a year.
Spilling of chlorine can create a death in a range of 50 km from the place of accident, killing all biological life in that range. One such a disaster can kill many thousands of people in this area and the last Primeval Forest of the lowlands of Europe. On the list of chemicals transported through the Forest you can find also: phenol - 5000 tons a year, acrylonitrile - 459 tons a year, benzol - 5000 tons a year.
The railway line used for transportation of chemicals is completely not prepared for this purpose. The railway crossings are not protected, the positions of the trains full of deadly liquids is unknown for the brigade which is supposed to deal with the accidents, there are no lightning on the railway line and most of all the closest chemical rescue unit is situated 300 km away. Almost all of the trains are going through the Forest at night, perhaps because the Polish State Railways (PKP) wants to hide the scale of danger.
The Białowieża Forest belongs not only to the Polish nation, but to the whole of Europe, people here still need time to learn how to fight for their rights, so without support from abroad it would be impossible to remove the danger of new Chernobyl this time in Bia3owie?a Forest soon. Białowieża Forest Protection Society is asking for support of our action of pressing the Polish Ministry of Transportation to stop all dangerous chemicals going through the Białowieża Forest. We would be grateful for the texts of international regulations of the transport of the dangerous chemicals and also office equipment (like fax machine, simple PC and printer) and financial support would be much of help.
If you can help - please contact us:
Towarzystwo Ochrony Puszczy Biażowieskiej
(Bialowieza Forest Protection Society)
ul. Mostowa 15,
One of the significant actions to protect the Białowieża Forest is an attempt to move an airway away from above the area. The airway has been open for a year. Previously it was situated to the north from the Forest. Sometimes ten condensation trails can be seen at the same time and the noise is like at the Warsaw airport. Moreover, last year the cadmium content in the air above the Forest increased ten times in comparison to earlier time. If it would be possible to prove that this is the consequence of heavy air traffic we could use such an information as a powerful argument against the airway. Therefore we seek answers for the following questions:
The case of the airway is dealt with, besides the Białowieża National Park, by the Białowieża Forest Protection Society.
reprinted from Zielone Brygady 12/95
translated by M. Maciejewska