Grasshopper no 4, Autumn '94
Letter to the Editor
Warszawa, October 14, 1994
I am asking for intervention in the following matter: in the very centre of the Beskid Niski, one of the most beautiful and cleanest parts of our country, the municipality of Gorlice and Skowa are planning to establish a landfill for towns and villages in the former Gorlice district. Projected locations are in Banica, Jasionka, or Czarne - villages situated close to the Magórski National Park, which will come into existence on January 1st, 1995 (the location in Czarne lies within the border of the protection zone for the Park) -- and in a protected landscape zone, where it is forbidden "to dump, bury in the ground, or spill waste and to pollute water, soil, or air in any other way" (on the basis of the Nature Protection Act of October 16, 1991, article 37, clause 3) . This area is rich in wildlife (e.g. bears, wolves, deer, and rare birds like spotted eagle or black stork), so there is a real threat to the ecosystem. These locations also threaten the purity of the water in the Wisłoka River (the locations in Czarne and Jasionków are near its sources) and the Ropa River (Banica lies in its catchment basin). After analysing the former so-called eco-landfills, it is clear that the geomembrane which was intended to protect ground water from sewage is useless because it is constantly damaged by rodents (rats) .
Local people (the Krzywa village administrative office and the people from Gładyszów and Ptna) protested against the projected locations and the procedure for this case, which did not satisfy them. They do not believe the local authorities' claims that the landfill would not be dangerous to the environment and to local people (in that highly toxic waste from the voivodeship -- batteries, mercury-vapor lamps, paint, remains of fertilizers -- are not separated from the rest of municipal solid waste). The Lemkos, an ethnic minority living in this region, also protested because the projected locations lie within their homeland, which had been taken from them during the "Wisła" operation and its legal status has not yet been explained. In practice, roads are not passable during harsh winters and the waste will probably be thrown into wayside ditches. The local people are aware of the fact that ecotourism is the only real chance to develop their region . This has been declared by the local authorities as well. Both foreign and domestic tourists are attracted by the new border crossing in Konieczna and the Huculi horse stables in Gładyszów.
The location of the landfill in one of the most beautiful remote spots in not only this region but in all of Poland will destroy the chance for its development. I am asking for information about your activity in this matter.
On behalf of Czarne inhabitants,