2020.01.21 17:21

Lithuanian inspectors to check 50 companies' water treatment facilities in wake of pollution scandal

Erika Alonderytė, BNS 2020.01.21 17:21

Lithuania's Environmental Protection Department plans to inspect water treatment facilities at 50 companies. The inspection follows suspicions that the Klaipėda-based cardboard maker Grigeo Klaipėda released untreated wastewater into the Curonian Lagoon.

The department says 20 companies will undergo immediate inspection, but will not name them.

“We plan to check 50 companies in total, and the list is not final, but can be updated if needed. During the first stage, we plan to start immediate inspection of 20 companies, and then we'll see,” Ieva Krištopaitytė of the Environmental Protection Department told BNS.

Read more: Plastic released into Vilnius river sparks outrage over industrial pollution

Inspections will start this week.

In all, 194 companies in the country treat their wastewater in-house and have permissions to release it into the environment, according to Deputy Minister of Environment Justina Grigaravičienė. The riskiest of them will be inspected first.

“We have produced a priority list, since it's impossible to check 194 companies at once,” the vice minister told BNS.

According to, the list contains small fishing, food production and excavation companies, as well as major businesses like Orlen Lietuva, Achema, Neo Group, Norvelita, Dolomitas, Rokiškio Sūris and Vilkyškių Pieninė.

Klaipėda prosecutors are now investigating suspicions that Grigeo Klaipėda released untreated wastewater into the Curonian Lagoon. Prosecutors estimate the damage done to nature at “dozens of millions” of euros.

Read more: After pollution scandal, suspicions brought against Grigeo Klaipėda and three employees