Minister defends state-owned chemical firm accused of mishandling waste

Poland's state assets minister has lashed out against the opposition's criticism of the TNT producer Nitro-Chem's mishandling of hazardous waste, saying the state-owned company was the aggrieved party in the case that attracted media attention.

Private television channel TVN24 recently broadcasted an investigative report on a chemical waste dump in the village of Rojkow, about 30 kilometres east of Warsaw, where hundreds of tonnes of dangerous waste, including from TNT manufacturing, are stored.

In Poland TNT production is carried out by a single company, the state-owned Nitro-Chem.

The TVN24 report found that there were at least 424 illegal hazardous waste landfills located in Poland.

Jan Grabiec, an MP with the main opposition grouping, the Civic Coalition (KO), urged the prime minister on Friday to prepare a report on hazardous waste management in the country.

Grabiec said that "the state-owned company Nitro-Chem has been flooding Poland with hazardous waste for five years."

But Jacek Sasin, the state assets minister, defended Nitro-Chem, which is part of the Polish Armaments Group, and said it was the aggrieved party in the waste dump scandal.

"Even TVN journalists said that Nitro-Chem was deceived," said Sasin, adding that Nitro-Chem signed a contract with a company that "had all the certificates, guaranteed the proper disposal of this waste and was cheated back in 2007."

"It's not Nitro-Chem that is doing the poisoning, it's the companies you issued certificates to," Sasin said, referring to his parliamentary adversaries, who were in power in 2007-2015.

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