Ukrainian civic network. Different industrial cities - similar issues
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    Petition "Clean Air in Ukraine"

    Before signing this petition, try to hold your breath for 5 minutes. Have you tried? Easy?

    Addressees of the petition:
    Parliament of Ukraine Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management
    Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources
    Ministry of Health
    Regional state administrations, regional councils, local governments

    Atmospheric air remained the only free natural resource. The composition of any product and information about its manufacturer is provided on the packaging of this product. So you can quickly understand what you are planning to put in your mouth. We consume air every minute, but we have no idea about its composition. We are forced to consume it as it is in our cities.

    We do not have the ability to choose air quality, we are limited in this choice, although we have the right to know about its composition, because it directly affects our health and life.
    Humans are different from other living beings on planet Earth because they have a choice. Air quality depends on our choice today.

    Air pollution is one of the key threats to the environment and human health of present and future generations. According to the World Health Organization, polluted air can lead to premature death and cause birth defects in infants.

    The main source of air pollution is outdated technologies used in heavy industry - coal-fired power plants, metallurgical or chemical plants. The example of the EU shows that change is possible and that the economy can be greener and more accountable to citizens. At present, we are forced to pay for the profits of several industrial oligarchs for the health of millions of people.

    Don't choose between air pollution and health, choose clean air and demand with us:

    1. Develop and implement an updated independent, reliable system of integrated state air monitoring.
      Concentrate monitoring management in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources with adequate funding. The results of monitoring should be published in the public space (Internet) in the form of primary data, as well as averaged over observation stations, zones and agglomerations. Develop and implement a system of operational warning, warning and regulation of smog.
    2. Introduce an open register of permits.
      The current procedure for obtaining permits for pollutant emissions is outdated compared to the current procedure for environmental impact assessment and access to related information. At present, the procedure for placing information contained in emission permits by enterprises is not legally established and regulated. Such a gap significantly restricts everyone's right to free access to environmental information, as required by the Aarhus Convention, and limits the opportunities for citizens to participate in environmental decision-making.
    3. Update environmental decision-making procedures
      The results of air monitoring should be the basis for issuing emission permits, reviewing and revoking permits and developing air quality control measures.

    Petition authors:
    Clean air for Ukraine
    Anna Ambrosova - Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih
    Iryna Pirohova - All-Ukrainian Ecological League, Zaporizhia
    Maksym Soroka - expert on air pollution, Dnipro
    Olesya Kramarenko - Dzyga, Zaporizhia
    Olena Shafranova - PravoE, Kryvyi Rih

    Help us collect handwritten signatures - they are more valuable! You can download the signature sheet here: Download petition

    * Data marked with an asterisk are required.

    By signing this request, I consent to the use and processing of my personal data in accordance with the Law of Ukraine on Personal Data Protection, as well as consent to receive notifications through these channels.

      10 tips for health

      The most crucial thing when staying in areas with polluted air is to protect one's health. In the event of a smog situation, reduce outdoor activities. It is a matter of course to exclude any sport or outdoor games for kids. Do not ventilate excessively. Wearing a mask can protect you against fine particles.

      But how can one recognize a critical smog situation? That's a problem here.

      In European Union countries, the state provides continuous air quality measurement, whereas in Ukraine, responsibility is scattered across different authorities, and the information is usually unavailable to the general public. Ask at your municipality and demand that the city ensures air monitoring.

      Along with access to information, it is essential to enforce progressive legal rules and demand that industrial companies invest part of their profits in the modernization of obsolete technologies and observe the limitations in force. This is exactly what public organizations do in almost every industrial city. And you can support the initiative in your municipality.

      1) Regularly follow the quality of air in your city on the website

      2) In the event of severe air pollution, reduce outdoor activities to a minimum.

      3) Reduce airing and the opening of windows. Ventilate for just a short time.

      4) If you feel any health problems, do not postpone visiting your doctor and asking for a medical report.

      5) Consider installing an AirFreshMax station. The more stations that are utilized, the more accurate the data on air quality will be.

      6) Don't burn grass and leaves. Do not light an open fire.

      7) Do not use poor-quality coal for heating, and do not incinerate waste in a heater.

      8) Join the petition "Clean Air in Ukraine".

      9) Ask the municipality of your city to inform the citizens and solve the problem.

      10) Support environmental non-governmental organizations based in your city.

        Check your air with AirFreshMax monitoring station:

        AirFreshMax is a new generation air pollution monitoring station based on the "citizen science" concept, which is becoming popular all over the world. Where the state doesn't fulfil its responsibilities, citizens assume responsibility and do what needs to be done.

        The AirFreshMax air quality monitoring station is a device that allows monitoring and recording of the state of the ambient air, namely indicators of temperature, humidity and dust concentration PM2.5 and PM10 in real time. In addition to dust microparticles (PM2.5 and PM10), AirFreshMax monitors the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), ground-level ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (TVOC, VVOC).

        The AirFreshMax monitoring station was developed by experts from Ukrainian NGOs and is manufactured directly in Ukraine as part of social entrepreneurship. The AirFreshMax monitoring station is an improved version of the Oxygen station and provides an opportunity for every citizen to assess the content of the most common substances dangerous to human health in the air.

        The functionality of the device will allow not only to obtain real-time data on air quality, but also to accumulate large data for assessment and forecasting of pollution indices and risks to public health, using a personal account on the site

        This and other air quality monitoring devices are manufactured and tested by EcoCity experts in their own workshop. Production time is on average 1 week from the moment of the order (production, testing, calibration). After receiving, you can activate and configure the device using the manual on the site The station is powered by a standard USB adapter (5V 2A) that comes with the device. The length of the power cable is 7 meters.

        Use this form to order the equipment. The message will be sent to both the Clean Air team and the EcoCity team. We will then contact you by e-mail to confirm the order.

        *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

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          *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

            Do you have any questions, suggestions or comments?

            Let us know what is happening in your city!

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            *By filling out and sending this form, you consent to the storage and processing of your personal data in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. We promise that the data provided will not be passed on to "third parties" and will not be used for purposes other than the implementation of the Clean Air Coalition and its partners.

            Small Grants Program Ukraine 2020: results

            16. 8. 2021,

            What has been achieved thanks to the Clean Air for Ukraine Project in 2020? What problems the cities had to solve and how? Read bellow about the results of the Small Grants Program 2020.

            Information about the new round of Small Grants Program can be found (in Ukrainian) here.

            Know what you breathe!

            Good Will / Kharkiv

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 50,000 people

            The industrial zone on the border of Kharkiv, the second largest Ukrainian city, and the Dergachev district of Kharkiv Oblast is surrounded by residential areas. The major polluter is Kharkiv Thermal Powerplant 5, accompanied by a number of smaller industries. The areas that are most affected are the Pisochyn and Solonytsivka urban-type settlements, whose residents suspected the factories of emitting excessive amounts of toxic substances at night. There are no state air quality monitoring stations located there. Thus, four EcoCity civic air pollution monitoring stations were installed, and the first independent data began to be obtained. Two online round tables with the local authorities were organized (10 participants, 337 spectators) to discuss possible steps to reduce pollution. An article in the local media was published to inform the citizens. As a result, two new local civic initiatives focused on the environmental situation emerged – Pisochyn Alternative and Solonytsivka Alternative.


            Action Green Protection

            Dzyga / Zaporizhia

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 300,000 people

            Ukrainian legislation does not link air pollution with harm to human health directly. Those citizens who want to defend their environmental rights can theoretically submit a lawsuit, but they need to bring up evidence on their own. Dzyga, in cooperation with the Zaporizhia Human Rights League, analysed the relevant laws and published an overview of basic advice for citizens concerning which authorities to turn to and templates of complaints to different state authorities. A Sapphire-32 mobile station, developed for civic air pollution monitoring, was used to ascertain the levels of toxic substances in the air in residential areas adjacent to the industrial zone – the results aroused great attention of the public (article published). A round table with the state authorities on how to establish governmental air pollution monitoring and reduce the pollution was organized. Lectures, together with public discussions, were organized within the popular fair EcoForum Zaporizhia.


            Know! Participate! Influence!

            Stop Poisoning Kryvyi Rih / Kryvyi Rih

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 600,000 people

            Kryvyi Rih is one of the main Ukrainian centres of coal mining, metallurgy, and the chemical industry. Outdated technologies, some of them in operation since the 1930s, cause extreme air pollution. The activists addressed the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, during his visit to Kryvyi Rih and made him promise to investigate the situation in the Security Council. SPKR participated in 11 environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures for industrial operations and promoted participation in five public hearings among the residents; four articles were published in the media and thousands informed through social networks. The most controversial was a plan to build a new industrial dump for ArcelorMittal; 1,200 people signed a petition against the project. Public control of the decision making resulted in improvements to the projects and the implementation of stronger measures to protect the environment. In two cases, particular projects were rejected by the Ministry of the Environment. 


            Asphalt and air

            Crisis Media Centre / Severodonetsk

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 10,000 people

            After the large chemical factory was closed down because of the occupation of Donbas, the air pollution in the town significantly decreased. However, the inhabitants of the outskirts of Severdonetsk and of the nearby village of Voevodovka suffer from the operation of newly opened asphalt plants. They are located only 100 or 285 metres from residential houses, although the minimum distance set in the legislation should be 1,000 metres – and not far from two local hospitals. Investigation of compliance with the permits that were issued and of the real impact of the asphalt plants on the environment was carried out (video) and four public discussions organized (86 participants). Four EcoCity civic air pollution monitoring stations were installed to measure the emissions. As a result, violations of the laws by both asphalt plants were proved. The responsible authorities were requested to take measures and enforce the law; CMC submitted the lawsuit and represented the local community in court.


            Nikopol Clean Air Monitor

            International Environmental Safety / Nikopol

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 100,000 people

            Five EcoCity civic air monitoring stations were installed in Nikopol and the nearby towns of Marganets and Pokrov. State pollution monitoring is not established in the region, although the largest European enterprises producing manganese concentrate and agglomerate for ferroalloy and metallurgical plants operate here. A series of six online and offline  events, “Workshop to Make the City”, was organized to discuss strategies to improve the environmental situation (with 150 participants, including town councillors and officials). An online catalogue, “Environmentally Responsible Business”, was published to promote private projects to improve public spaces and inspire others (four online events, 120 participants). A writing competition was launched, resulting in 15 articles on air pollution and other environmental topics in the local media. A fundraising campaign collected 24,000 UAH and enabled the purchase of a  Sapphire-32 mobile air pollution monitoring device.


            Supporting the residents in defence of their environmental rights

            Community Development Fund / Kramatorsk

            Approximate number of pollution victims: 700,000 people

            There are several large industrial enterprises polluting the air in Kramatorsk. In 2014, the situation worsened after the new owner of the Ferroalloy Plant started to use an iron blast furnace for smelting ferromanganese. In 2018, the residents began to share videos of massive clouds of coloured smoke coming out of the factory, but because of the non-existence of state pollution monitoring, information on the concentration of toxic compounds was missing. Five EcoCity civic air monitoring stations were installed. A Sapphire-32 mobile station was used for measuring excessive emissions together with a drone recording aerial videos (article). A number of articles were published in the local media and several requests to the state authorities were submitted. As a result, because of its non-compliance with the permits that had been issued, the factory was closed down for larger technical improvements.

            The Small Grants Program is implemented within the Clean Air for Ukraine Project – cooperation of the non-governmental organizations Arnika (Czechia) and EcoCity (Ukraine), supported by the Transition Promotion Program of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA).

            Clean Air for Ukraine

            This project is led by a non-governmental organization Arnika (Czech Republic) in cooperation with local civic initiatives in industrial towns of Ukraine with financial support from the Transition Promotion Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA). You can find more information about our activities and possibilities of involvement or share your thoughts with us by sending a message to


            Project partners: