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    The main source of air pollution is outdated technologies used in heavy industry - coal-fired power plants, metallurgical or chemical plants.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 www.cleanair.org.ua
    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








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      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 cleanair.org.ua.

      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 Air Fresh Max 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 Air Fresh Max monitoring station:

        Air Fresh Max 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 Air Fresh Max 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), Air Fresh Max monitors the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia (NH3), ground-level ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (TVOC, VVOC).

        The Air Fresh Max monitoring station was developed by experts from Ukrainian NGOs and is manufactured directly in Ukraine as part of social entrepreneurship. The Air Fresh Max 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 eco-city.org.ua.

        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 eco-city.org.ua. 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 Eco City 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.

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            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

            Civic initiatives in six industrial towns (Severodonetsk, Nikopol, Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and Zaporizhia) received funds to strengthen their local campaigns aimed at tackling air pollution from industrial sources. The Small Grants Program is run by the Czech NGO Arnika with the financial support of the Transition Promotion Program of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Endowment for Democracy fund. Total amount of the grants reaches 12,000 EUR. The initiatives will also receive the Oxygen air monitoring stations (more information about the new non-stop online access to air pollution data in Ukraine can be found here).


            Asphalt and air / Severodonetsk
            Implementing organization: Crisis Media Center Seversky Donets

            Although Azot, one of the largest nitrogen chemical and fertilizer plants in Europe, has been shut down as a consequence of the war with Russia, citizens of Severodonetsk (and especially the adjacent village Voevodovka) still suffer from air pollution. It is caused by two asphalt plants located in close vicinity to residential districts. The Crisis Media Center will investigate the situation, carry out information campaign, organize public discussions and seek out to find solution to the existing issues. Moreover, air monitoring stations will be installed in the town to bring data on concentrations of pollutants.

            “As a part of our project, we hope to activate the residents of Severodonetsk and Voevodovka to pay more attention to the activities of asphalt plants in the region. We understand the value and importance of industry plants – they give people jobs, pay taxes and improve the transport infrastructure. But we can’t allow this to threaten the health of the residents due to high levels of air pollution in the region. We hope that our participation in the Small grants program will enable us to find a sustainable solution which will consider the needs of all the interested parties and further ensure decrease in air pollution,” said Elena Nizhelskaya, the Head of Crisis Media Center Seversky Donets.


            Nikopol Clean Air / Nikopol 
            Implementing organization: Nikopol – Smart City

            Nikopol is located in Dnipropetrovsk oblast, which leads the charts of the most polluted regions in Ukraine; and the residents often complain about excessive air pollution and frequent respiratory diseases. Existing municipal and state air monitoring systems are inefficient and deliver data on pollution with long delay, so the town’s residents don’t have access to reliable data on air quality. Nikopol – Smart City will install Oxygen stations and continuously publish information on air quality online. The group will initiate negotiations with public authorities, organize a roundtable to discuss the situation in town, and carry out a media campaign. 

            “The small grants program will help us to establish cooperation with the town officials and the polluting industries themselves. Through public influence, the program will help us to demand the industries to decrease their emissions and modernize their purifying facilities. Funds from the grant will allow us to obtain the air monitoring stations, but also support of professional experts, who will help us analyze the data and make appropriate conclusions,” said Alina Mashenko, coordinator of the Nikopol Clean Air project.


            Increasing the activity of residents in defense of Severodonetsk.jpg
            their environmental rights / Kramatorsk

            Implementing organization: The Community Development Fund 

            The Kramatorsk Ferroalloy Plant, established in 1880s, renewed its activities in 2014 – and the citizens learned about it from air quality. Although the company assures the public that the plant is equipped with the latest filters and its operation meets emission limits, the city residents gathered vast evidence of the opposite. The Community Development Fund will start civic monitoring of air pollution, collect documentation of extreme emissions through citizens and demand more intense activity of the State Environmental Inspectorate. The fund will also provide citizens with legal support, organize public discussions about environmental law and start a dialogue between citizens, officials and industries. 

            “The goal of the joint project of Arnika and the Community Development Fund is to carry out an information campaign and public events to increase social activity and awareness of Kramatorsk residents, so that they can better defend their environmental rights. With the help of the already installed sensors, the residents are being informed about air quality in the town. After we receive equipment which will allow us to measure air quality at the moment when the emissions are happening, a widespread public awareness campaign will ensue, which will support the residents to file lawsuits. We will also provide them legal support with their complaints about violation of the environmental law,” said Stanislav Chernohor, the coordinator of the project.


            Know what you breathe / Kharkiv
            Implementing organization: Good Will

            Kharkiv is one of the key industrial cities in the Eastern part of Ukraine. There are 50,000 people living near the industrial area who are affected by emissions into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, citizens do not have access to reliable data on air pollution. Good Will will install Oxygen air monitoring stations and publish its data online. Together with experts, the civic initiative will verify whether the factories follow issued permits and emission standards. Good Will will also organize a public information campaign where the residents will learn about the project, its goals and where they can find the information from the sensors. 

            “Our project ‘Know what you breathe!‘ is aimed at popularization and expansion of the public air monitoring network. With the help of the small grants program from Czech NGO Arnika, we plan to install sensors in the Pesochinsky and Solonivetsky regions, so that the public can get information about emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere, react accordingly and deal with the after-effects. In this region, there is a vast industrial zone with more than 10 companies that have first-class permits for emissions into the atmosphere,” said Ksenya Tumanovskaya, coordinator of the project.


            Know, participate, influence! / Kryvyi Rih Kriviyi_Rih.JPG
            Implementing organisation: Stop Poisoning Kryvyi Rih!

            Kryvyi Rih is the Ukrainian centre of coal and iron ore mining, built along the lode – and heavily polluted by outdated technologies. While the mining companies invest to increase their production capacities, the necessary improvements of their environmental impact remain overlooked. The situation negatively impacts the health of the town’s residents. Stop Poisoning Kryvyi Rih! will check all decision-making processes concerning either existing or new industries, especially the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and ensure public participation in these procedures. The organization’s goal is to use legal tools to enforce better technologies and practices by industries.

            “Our main goal is the protection of citizens’ environmental rights and prevention of worsening of the environment and human health. Participation in EIA procedures allows us to know in time about activities planned in Kryvyi Rih and demand all the necessary information which will allow us to assess the impact on the environment. At assemblies, we directly discuss with the industries. All our comments are also sent to the Energetics and Environment Ministry. Only the pressure of public opinion will make the polluting industries decrease their negative influence on the environment,” said Anna Ambrosova, the executive director of Stop poisoning Kryvyi Rih!


            Action Green Protection / ZaporizhiaZaporozhia.jpg
            Implementing organization: Dzyga

            Even though it’s obvious that living in an environment where one breathes constantly polluted air is a serious threat to human health, the Ukrainian legislation doesn’t include any course of action the citizens might take to enforce their right to living in a healthy environment. Organization Dzyga will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the existing environmental legislation and judicial practice, and based on its results, the activists will suggest practical steps the citizens can take to enforce their rights. Also, some pilot lawsuits will be filed. Dzyga will also install Oxygen air monitoring stations and use the obtained data as a supportive evidence in court. 

            “Firstly, the Small grants program allows us to bring in experts and lawyers to find solutions to issues where it isn’t enough for only the activists to participate. Issues where we are powerless. Like a comprehensive analysis of the existing environmental legislature. We want to attempt to protect our rights not only at the municipal level, but in court. This is a systematic work  which pulls lots of resources, but it’s necessary. Thanks to this program, we will attempt to discover new ways to solve the issue of air pollution,” said Olesya Kramarenko, a representative of Dzyga.

             

            ua project logos 2019 2

             

            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 cleanair@arnika.org.