The Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) reported sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels almost three times higher than permitted in the mining town of Bor, the Beta news agency said on Wednesday.
SEPA, an agency in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that SO2 levels were measured at 991 micrograms per cubic meter of air, greatly exceeding the 350 micrograms permitted under the law. It said that the local SEPA monitoring station in Bor recorded levels in excess of the permitted 18 days over the past month, including on Tuesday when the recorded levels of sulphur dioxide were 3,800 micrograms per cubic meter.
Beta recalled that high pollution levels have become more common in the city since the Chinese Zijin took over the mining and smelting complex (RTB Bor) as a strategic partner to the government. Zijin increased copper production by 23.33 percent in 2019 and even more this year.
Zijin Bor Copper CEO Ximing Jian confirmed earlier this year that the pollution was caused by the copper plant.