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Oil terminal in Riga faces sanctions over foul stench emitted

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Staff Writer | September 21, 2017
The Latvian environmental authority caught PARS Terminals, a stevedore based at the Freeport of Riga territory, emitting unbearable stench in the nearby neighborhood of Vecmilgravis, Latvian public media website lsm.lv reported.
Oil terminal in Riga
Europe   Latvian capital
In Vecmilgravis, two schoolchildren had to be taken to hospital after the odor made them sick.

Maruta Buklevica, representative of the Latvian State Environmental Service, said that the agency had received multiple complaints from local residents about foul stench spreading in Vecmilgravis. Inspectors from the environmental service checked a number of oil terminals at the port but failed to detect the source of the bad smell. One terminal was asked to slow down its reloading operations though.

However, the environmental inspectors later succeeded in locating the possible source of the odor. It apparently came from PARS Terminals which was loading an oil tanker at the maximum speed.

The inspectors took oil product samples from the vessel to test them for potentially harmful substances.

The local authority of the Latvian capital city also reacted to the developments at the port. Riga Vice Mayor and Freeport of Riga Board Chairman Andris Ameriks said that if the tests reveal violations in the terminal's operations, the port's board will decide on sanctions, which might even include the terminal's closure.

Earlier on Wednesday, two teenage students of a high school in Vecmilgravis - a boy and a girl - were taken to hospital after suffering nausea and fatigue from the obnoxious emissions in the area.