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Linglong tire factory disputes RERI claims on waste storage facility in Zrenjanin

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The Linglong tire factory in Zrenjanin has countered allegations made by the Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment (RERI) regarding the illegal construction of a waste storage facility with a capacity of 700 kg/day. Linglong asserts that the facility’s planned capacity is significantly smaller, thus exempting it from requiring an environmental impact assessment study.

According to Linglong, the facility falls under List 2, item 14, sub-item 2) of the Decree establishing the list of projects for which an environmental impact assessment is mandatory. This category includes non-hazardous waste management facilities with a capacity of up to 50 tons per day. Linglong claims that with a planned capacity of around 700 kilograms per day, the project does not necessitate an environmental impact assessment.

The City Administrative Authority in Zrenjanin made this decision in April after Linglong submitted a request in March to determine the need for an environmental impact assessment. Linglong stated that the decision was made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, emphasizing that the company respects Serbian laws and strives to act responsibly towards the environment and the local community.

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Linglong clarified that the current site in question is a temporary assembly-dismantling construction site used for assembling and producing formwork and storing related materials. The site consists of a prefabricated structure with a canopy and should not be considered a permanent non-hazardous waste storage facility.

RERI recently accused Linglong of non-compliance with Serbian laws, citing the illegal construction of a 700 kg/day waste storage facility without a valid construction permit or an environmental impact assessment decision. RERI alleged that the construction was nearly complete by the time Linglong requested an assessment in March 2024.

In response, the City Administration of Zrenjanin decided that an environmental impact assessment was not required for the facility. RERI appealed this decision in April, citing its illegality. By inspecting satellite images, RERI claimed that the facility had already been built. They noted that a construction permit could not be obtained until the appeal was resolved, prompting RERI to call for extraordinary inspections by the building and environmental protection inspectorates.

In March 2024, the building inspectorate reportedly issued a decision to suspend work, remove the illegal building, and close the construction site. However, it remains unclear whether any criminal proceedings have been initiated against the investor for illegal construction.

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