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Uroš Macerl, 2017 Goldman Prize Recipient for Europe

Author: Goldman Prize, Published on: 3 May 2017

Uroš Macerl, 48, is the president of Eko Krog and an organic farmer whose family farm sits on the outskirts of the Lafarge plant….Many farmers suffered huge losses as industrial pollution wiped out the three most vital elements of their livelihood: clean air, soil, and water…Unwilling to accept the injustice to his community, Macerl began organizing farmers, residents, and local groups to collect air quality data that showed a dramatic increase in dangerous pollutants since Lafarge had begun burning petcoke…In 2009 when Lafarge applied for an environmental permit to co-incinerate hazardous industrial waste with petcoke… Macerl filed and won a lawsuit that canceled the permit, but Lafarge continued to burn petcoke and waste. Noting the Slovenian authorities’ failure to enforce the court ruling, Eko Krog and Macerl informed the European Union…The European Commission sided with Macerl. And when Lafarge continued its operations, the commission requested that Slovenia be brought before the European Court of Justice for its failure to enforce EU pollution standards. The national authorities finally ordered Lafarge to halt production, and the company complied in March 2015…Since the plant’s shutdown, the region has seen visible improvements in air quality... Lafarge continues its attempts to restart co-incinerating petcoke and waste, but faces formidable opposition in Macerl, Eko Krog members, and a community determined to protect its health and environment

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Related companies: LafargeHolcim