Poland calls for international assistance for pollution in the Oder River

The Polish government has turned to international aid to try to detect the source of the serious pollution affecting the Oder River, which, according to environmental organizations, is the biggest environmental disaster the country has suffered in years.

Local authorities have sent water samples to laboratories in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, Environment Minister Anna Moskwa reported on her Twitter account. These investigations are in addition to those already being carried out by Polish researchers.

The European Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius, has offered the support of the EU to “minimize the damage” to the ecosystem of the area, after speaking Tuesday by phone with the German Minister of the branch, Steffi Lemke. “We must improve the detection of pollution as soon as possible and deploy coordinated actions in transboundary incidents,” he said.

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Germany, through which the river also flows — it borders for more than 100 kilometers — has accused Poland of ignoring the scale of the disaster when it became known more than two weeks ago. Polish emergency services extracted some 80 tons of dead fish last weekend.

None of the analyses carried out so far in Poland or Germany have been conclusive in establishing a cause, as no large quantities of any toxin have been detected to justify the massive fish kill. Other hypotheses include an increase in salinity or worsening conditions due to lower water levels, according to Bloomberg.

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The Polish government has offered a reward of one million slotis (about 214,000 euros) in exchange for information that would help identify the possible person responsible for this disaster.

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