An Environmental Scientist Raises Concerns about the Proposed Pulp Mill for Tartu

Vice Rector Erik Puura of Tartu University is an environmental scientist. He recently published an article in the Estonian daily newspaper “Postimees” about his concerns over the proposed Cellulose Factory that might be built just upriver from the city.  It is part of a rather intense debate that is taking place about this project — and about how the Estonian authorities are proceeding on such a matter.

Below is an English language translation.


https://tartu.postimees.ee/4402861/keskkonnateadlane-kas-tartut-ja-tartumaad-ootab-aanekoski-saatus#cxrecs_s

 

Environmental scientist: are Tartu and Tartu County facing the same fate as Äänekoski? Right of Reply by Margus Kohava included

Tartu Postimees daily

8 February 2018, 16:23

In an attempt to dispel fears about building a large pulp mill in the River Emajõgi region, some highlight as a positive example a bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, claimed to be odour-free and environmentally friendly. However, according to environmental scientist Erik Puura, there are posts on the internet, revealing that every now and then people living in the area have serious complaints about the mill. The scientist wonders whether Tartu faces the same fate.

Until now, I haven’t signed any documents in favour or against the pulp mill. My goal has been to carefully consider all arguments from a scientific viewpoint and, I have to admit, my previous addresses include certain statements which could have been formulated much better. Still, life goes on and currently I am on a one-week leave. My original plan was simply to relax, but my brain urged me on to continue searching the expanse of the internet for additional bits and pieces for my background assessment.

In my mind’s eye, I picture the day when, for the first time, we notice the smell, be it in the city of Tartu or when fishing or hiking in its surrounding region. And then, looking ourselves in the eye, we will be thinking whether this is really the best we were able to come up with in Tartu – and Estonia.

Due to my current position, my loyalties are divided. On the one hand, being responsible for the entrepreneurial relations of the University (the author is Vice Rector of Development at the University of Tartu – ed.), my job is to strengthen such connections because the University should contribute to entrepreneurship development. On the other hand, in this position my goal is also to ensure that Tartu will become an ever better place to study and to do research. Lately, together with the City Government of Tartu, we have made a real effort in the latter direction.

However, I present this opinion not as a member of the University’s upper management, but as a citizen of Tartu and an environmental scientist. It is here that my family lives, and the families of my friends and colleagues live. It is our only home on this planet.

Although I haven’t done any research with quotations for quite some time, I always examine various problems in the light of my educational background and earlier research experience – I hold degrees in geology, environmental protection as well as chemical engineering. This is one more reason why I tend to avoid joining any cause right away. Instead, I internally struggle to work out conflicts arising where the need for industrial development generating wealth for the whole society meets with our desire to protect and preserve the natural environment.

A few years back, on a completely voluntary basis, I worked with Kalle Pilt to solve an odour issue at Lähte Secondary School. We were able to prove that while measuring instruments demonstrate that certain values have not been exceeded, it is better to err on the side of caution, accepting that people vary in their sensitivity and thus an unpleasant odour can cause adverse health effects. And after it was decided that flooring in the entire schoolhouse will be replaced, it was discovered that under the flooring there was a smelly adhesive that had not dried, discharging harmful compounds into the air – exactly in amounts that triggered health problems in more sensitive ones. So, the best solutions is always to fix the cause, not the consequences. Especially when children may suffer. We managed to find examples of analogous situations elsewhere in the world, in which the releasing of compounds could have continued for over a decade. These analogies turned out to be the factor that tipped the scales as it was realised that the problem will not work itself out. I gave this example to explain later on how wise decisions are often based on analogies.

At the moment I see hundreds, even thousands of people who are frightened by the idea that soon a huge pulp mill might be erected in the region of Tartu. They hold long meetings, prepare addresses and petitions, try to understand in which stages it is legally possible to file questions and objections. Of course, planned studies are still to be carried out, but I asked myself whether it would be possible to foresee future scenarios using analogies.

Everybody agrees that we should not export timber products without adding extra value. It is more than clear that this is a very large area where there is much room for cooperation between entrepreneurs and researchers. Also, I understand that entrepreneurs don’t want to postpone these plans because testing out and applying new technologies might take decades, and it’s not good news to any of us when others worldwide make a profit using our raw materials. In this respect I disapprove of reproachful comments addressed at professor Urmas Varblane who has spent countless hours on preparing the Estonian timber industry assessment and who, at last, is able to point out a project that in economic terms would benefit the entire country. But he is not an environmental scientist, and in his opinion, his area of expertise should not be used to support or oppose the opinion of environmental scientists.

Let’s take a look at the bigger picture instead of focusing solely on the planning of developments according to the legal framework. Tartu, home to the University by the same name, continues to progress quickly. In recent years, cooperation between the city administration, universities, the University Hospital and entrepreneurs has intensified, giving rise to a novel environment which will soon create hundreds – and if it continues to develop at the same pace, thousands – of new, well-paying jobs with high added value. Top-level international events bring to the city ever more guests who enjoy the cultural and environmental value of its academic setting and who unanimously say that they would wish to come back here. The city’s ongoing internationalisation, primarily driven by the smart city concept, opens up new, fast connections with the rest of the world. Tartu’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in Estonia.

I guess I’m not wrong to say that the development model of Tartu and its surrounding region relies heavily on a clean natural environment. We would all like to be sure that fishing and swimming in the River Emajõgi is absolutely safe in terms of potential pollution and it is a widely known fact that the danger of Lake Peipus becoming eutrophic can be resolved only by cleaning up the waters of the River Emajõgi.

In addition to that, air quality in the city needs to be improved, the main risks being chemical pollution in heavy-traffic junctions in the valley of the River Emajõgi and in residential areas using wood-burning stoves, formed due to atmospheric inversion. Pro-environmental behaviour needs to be encouraged because the prevailing smell is a clear indicator that people are burning packaging, which means that the air we breathe in contains very harmful chemicals. Some of you who live in Tartu know the stench well of the one-time Tartu meat processing plant, permeating the entire city and creating much distress. Any factor of that kind would be simply too much while we are trying to change our community for the better.

Now, against such a background, locals in Tartu have been informed with a national special plan that the only possible location for a gigantic mill releasing its wastewater into the river is near the River Emajõgi and, due to the need for easy access, not only near the river, but also near Tartu.

I really want to believe entrepreneurs who say that if studies reveal that building the mill is not permissible due to major environmental effects, plans will be cancelled. Yet, what I foresee is endless disputes about what exactly counts as major environmental effects and what doesn’t. Because it is one thing to follow only laws and standards, but quite another to be guided by influences that bother people and to take into account the bigger picture of environmental impact. I would like to be assured that at the moment the best course of action is simply to wait and see.

But in the light of some new evidence I’m battling serious doubts about whether, after all, we will be able to build a brighter future when strictly adhering to laws. What led me to these thoughts is some pointing to an analogous enterprise in Äänekoski, namely, a new bio-product mill which is claimed to be completely odour-free.

When looking for information to back up this claim, I found an internet forum for the locals of Äänekoski region and on 3 September, a discussion under the title «Why does the new mill smell every day?» was opened.

Being fluent in Finnish, I’m going to quote some excerpts from the above discussion.

[5.9.2017] That’s for sure that we need to keep our cars under a shelter for a few years (a reference to the frequent discharge of Glauber’s salt during failures). In emergency situations large, smelly clouds are released and locals might be in danger. Has the mill informed us what to do in these kind of situations? Once we had frequent safety drills, organised in cooperation with the mill and the town, to know how to behave in emergency situations. The impact of sewage will be evident up to Päijänne, it will take a few years, if the mill will keep working at full capacity, it’s sure there will be accidents at wastewater discharge points. No doubt that lakeside real estate prices in the immediate vicinity of the mill will be dropping.

[6.9.2017] Äänekoski town newspaper informed us that there will be dust in the air next weekend. While before laundry hanging outside only smelled, now it becomes dirty as well. Thank you so much, our mill!

[12.9.2017] (Expletive), what a rumble was heard in the evening of 11 September! I’m sure this rumble is not lawful, because children were hysterically crying out and asking what’s going on.

[25.9.2017] We are told all the time that when the new mill will start operating properly, the smell and rumble of the launch period will end. How long does this setting up take? There has been this smell for two months already. Asthma sufferers should not go outside at all, even those of us who are healthy don’t feel well. Also, there is this awful rumble from time to time, children and dogs are afraid of it.

[2.10.2017] Before, when the air was clean (quite often), we could have babies sleep outside. That’s unthinkable now because of this unbearable stench, who knows what else we are breathing in!

[4.10.2017] Once again there was (another swearword) in the air on 2 and 3 October. Who knows what kind of pollution and toxins are falling down on us!

[5.10.2017] There is nobody from the top management, managers or superiors in the mill any more.

[17.11.2017] (Swearword) it smelled like cat pee when I was running errands today in the area of Äänekoski. I feel so sorry for the locals.

[19.11.2017] That’s what they told about the previous mill, that it would be smell-free, but it stank for 30 years.

[30.11.2017] This “bio” mill should be shut down. There is (swearword) in the air. What is more, nearby bodies of water have been almost destroyed. No point to go fishing any more.

Etc.

All this could be taken with a grain of salt, after all, it’s just an internet forum, but on its homepage the mill is constantly publishing notices on new failures.

[25.12.2017] Tonight there was a fire in the heating unit of Äänekoski bio-products mill. It was put out by the firefighters of the Emergency Rescue Unit for Central Finland and the mill’s workers.

[27.12.2017] Follow-up extinguishing work is still being carried out in the heating unit.

[9.1.2018] There was a failure in the collection system of odorous gases between 17:00 and 18:00 o’clock. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the smell.

[12.1.2018] In the morning of 12.1.2018, an exceptionally large amount of dust was released into the atmosphere due to a process failure. It contains Glauber’s salt which is not harmful, but is staining. Normal levels have been restored by now.

[4.2.2018] This morning, there was a failure in the collection system of odorous gases. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the smell.

Please forgive me, entrepreneurs – after all, it’s my job to develop and promote good relations – but deep down I’m first of all an environmental scientist and I can’t keep silent about what I’ve found out. What is going on with launching Äänekoski bio-products mill represents a highly significant and serious adverse environmental impact – and let’s not forget that Finland has decades of experience in this area.

Why am I writing about all this? Because no environmental impact assessment, even when using the best available technology, is able to adequately evaluate continuous malfunctions occurring in technological processes. In this case all we can rely on is analogies and if the facility in Äänekoski is indeed a fitting analogy, using the newest, most modern technology, as has been claimed, then can we reasonably expect that was has been going on in Äänekoski for the last six months will be our future as well. That’s how we resolved the odour problem in Lähte, although now we have a reverse problem on our hands and the wisest course of action would be to follow analogies.

In my mind’s eye, I picture the day when, for the first time, we notice the smell, be it in the city of Tartu or when fishing or hiking in its surrounding region. And then, looking ourselves in the eye, we will be thinking whether this is really the best we were able to come up with in Tartu – and Estonia. And I will be thinking, recalling this day, why didn’t I write this piece? This piece came about spontaneously, it simply surfaced within me, and I’m sure that it is well worth half a day of my leave. Anyway, sharing these thoughts has given me some peace of mind.

Right of Reply (published in its original form) by Margus Kohava, forest industrialist

Thank you, Erik, for your straightforward opinion piece in which you give voice to concerns that are on the mind of many people. I completely understand you. I can’t protect the mill in Äänekoski from the people running it. I visited the mill on 30 January. Since 15 August the mill has been in the launching stage and doesn’t operate normally yet. During the six hours I was in the mill’s territory, I noticed no unpleasant odour.

We managed to come to an agreement with the mill’s representatives that a delegation including representatives of Tartu County and environmental authorities can visit the mill in March or April. It would be great if you could join the delegation as one of the visitors.

According to the mill’s representatives, drinking water for the city of Helsinki comes from the same lake system into which the timber processing mill in Äänekoski releases its cleaned wastewater. Locals go trout fishing right by the mill, in the same lake system. Trout can survive in clean water only.

However, I can understand the concerns of people living nearby Äänekoski mill. Malfunctions may occur in the launching phase while setting the mill up for proper operation. Evidently, there have been such incidents in Äänekoski. Of course, we could debate over whether the launching stage has been long-drawn-out or not. It is no doubt that it is in the interests of locals that this period be as short as possible.

The only thing we are asking from everybody while we examine the possibility of building the mill is to exercise patience until study results will be known. All potential technology providers we have contacted up to now have assured us that with modern technology, it is possible to eliminate air, water and noise pollution. I would like to repeat once more what I have previously said on more than one occasion – there is absolutely no way that Estonian entrepreneurs currently exploring the possibility of building the mill will decide in favour of one that pollutes the environment. Our priority is – and will be – a clean environment. Tartu must stay the Tartu we know and love. The future of this city is important for us.

https://tartu.postimees.ee/4402861/keskkonnateadlane-kas-tartut-ja-tartumaad-ootab-aanekoski-saatus#cxrecs_s

 

Environmental scientist: are Tartu and Tartu County facing the same fate as Äänekoski? Right of Reply by Margus Kohava included

Tartu Postimees daily

8 February 2018, 16:23

 

In an attempt to dispel fears about building a large pulp mill in the River Emajõgi region, some highlight as a positive example a bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland, claimed to be odour-free and environmentally friendly. However, according to environmental scientist Erik Puura, there are posts on the internet, revealing that every now and then people living in the area have serious complaints about the mill. The scientist wonders whether Tartu faces the same fate.

Until now, I haven’t signed any documents in favour or against the pulp mill. My goal has been to carefully consider all arguments from a scientific viewpoint and, I have to admit, my previous addresses include certain statements which could have been formulated much better. Still, life goes on and currently I am on a one-week leave. My original plan was simply to relax, but my brain urged me on to continue searching the expanse of the internet for additional bits and pieces for my background assessment.

In my mind’s eye, I picture the day when, for the first time, we notice the smell, be it in the city of Tartu or when fishing or hiking in its surrounding region. And then, looking ourselves in the eye, we will be thinking whether this is really the best we were able to come up with in Tartu – and Estonia.

Due to my current position, my loyalties are divided. On the one hand, being responsible for the entrepreneurial relations of the University (the author is Vice Rector of Development at the University of Tartu – ed.), my job is to strengthen such connections because the University should contribute to entrepreneurship development. On the other hand, in this position my goal is also to ensure that Tartu will become an ever better place to study and to do research. Lately, together with the City Government of Tartu, we have made a real effort in the latter direction.

However, I present this opinion not as a member of the University’s upper management, but as a citizen of Tartu and an environmental scientist. It is here that my family lives, and the families of my friends and colleagues live. It is our only home on this planet.

Although I haven’t done any research with quotations for quite some time, I always examine various problems in the light of my educational background and earlier research experience – I hold degrees in geology, environmental protection as well as chemical engineering. This is one more reason why I tend to avoid joining any cause right away. Instead, I internally struggle to work out conflicts arising where the need for industrial development generating wealth for the whole society meets with our desire to protect and preserve the natural environment.

A few years back, on a completely voluntary basis, I worked with Kalle Pilt to solve an odour issue at Lähte Secondary School. We were able to prove that while measuring instruments demonstrate that certain values have not been exceeded, it is better to err on the side of caution, accepting that people vary in their sensitivity and thus an unpleasant odour can cause adverse health effects. And after it was decided that flooring in the entire schoolhouse will be replaced, it was discovered that under the flooring there was a smelly adhesive that had not dried, discharging harmful compounds into the air – exactly in amounts that triggered health problems in more sensitive ones. So, the best solutions is always to fix the cause, not the consequences. Especially when children may suffer. We managed to find examples of analogous situations elsewhere in the world, in which the releasing of compounds could have continued for over a decade. These analogies turned out to be the factor that tipped the scales as it was realised that the problem will not work itself out. I gave this example to explain later on how wise decisions are often based on analogies.

At the moment I see hundreds, even thousands of people who are frightened by the idea that soon a huge pulp mill might be erected in the region of Tartu. They hold long meetings, prepare addresses and petitions, try to understand in which stages it is legally possible to file questions and objections. Of course, planned studies are still to be carried out, but I asked myself whether it would be possible to foresee future scenarios using analogies.

Everybody agrees that we should not export timber products without adding extra value. It is more than clear that this is a very large area where there is much room for cooperation between entrepreneurs and researchers. Also, I understand that entrepreneurs don’t want to postpone these plans because testing out and applying new technologies might take decades, and it’s not good news to any of us when others worldwide make a profit using our raw materials. In this respect I disapprove of reproachful comments addressed at professor Urmas Varblane who has spent countless hours on preparing the Estonian timber industry assessment and who, at last, is able to point out a project that in economic terms would benefit the entire country. But he is not an environmental scientist, and in his opinion, his area of expertise should not be used to support or oppose the opinion of environmental scientists.

Let’s take a look at the bigger picture instead of focusing solely on the planning of developments according to the legal framework. Tartu, home to the University by the same name, continues to progress quickly. In recent years, cooperation between the city administration, universities, the University Hospital and entrepreneurs has intensified, giving rise to a novel environment which will soon create hundreds – and if it continues to develop at the same pace, thousands – of new, well-paying jobs with high added value. Top-level international events bring to the city ever more guests who enjoy the cultural and environmental value of its academic setting and who unanimously say that they would wish to come back here. The city’s ongoing internationalisation, primarily driven by the smart city concept, opens up new, fast connections with the rest of the world. Tartu’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in Estonia.

I guess I’m not wrong to say that the development model of Tartu and its surrounding region relies heavily on a clean natural environment. We would all like to be sure that fishing and swimming in the River Emajõgi is absolutely safe in terms of potential pollution and it is a widely known fact that the danger of Lake Peipus becoming eutrophic can be resolved only by cleaning up the waters of the River Emajõgi.

In addition to that, air quality in the city needs to be improved, the main risks being chemical pollution in heavy-traffic junctions in the valley of the River Emajõgi and in residential areas using wood-burning stoves, formed due to atmospheric inversion. Pro-environmental behaviour needs to be encouraged because the prevailing smell is a clear indicator that people are burning packaging, which means that the air we breathe in contains very harmful chemicals. Some of you who live in Tartu know the stench well of the one-time Tartu meat processing plant, permeating the entire city and creating much distress. Any factor of that kind would be simply too much while we are trying to change our community for the better.

Now, against such a background, locals in Tartu have been informed with a national special plan that the only possible location for a gigantic mill releasing its wastewater into the river is near the River Emajõgi and, due to the need for easy access, not only near the river, but also near Tartu.

I really want to believe entrepreneurs who say that if studies reveal that building the mill is not permissible due to major environmental effects, plans will be cancelled. Yet, what I foresee is endless disputes about what exactly counts as major environmental effects and what doesn’t. Because it is one thing to follow only laws and standards, but quite another to be guided by influences that bother people and to take into account the bigger picture of environmental impact. I would like to be assured that at the moment the best course of action is simply to wait and see.

But in the light of some new evidence I’m battling serious doubts about whether, after all, we will be able to build a brighter future when strictly adhering to laws. What led me to these thoughts is some pointing to an analogous enterprise in Äänekoski, namely, a new bio-product mill which is claimed to be completely odour-free.

When looking for information to back up this claim, I found an internet forum for the locals of Äänekoski region and on 3 September, a discussion under the title «Why does the new mill smell every day?» was opened.

Being fluent in Finnish, I’m going to quote some excerpts from the above discussion.

[5.9.2017] That’s for sure that we need to keep our cars under a shelter for a few years (a reference to the frequent discharge of Glauber’s salt during failures). In emergency situations large, smelly clouds are released and locals might be in danger. Has the mill informed us what to do in these kind of situations? Once we had frequent safety drills, organised in cooperation with the mill and the town, to know how to behave in emergency situations. The impact of sewage will be evident up to Päijänne, it will take a few years, if the mill will keep working at full capacity, it’s sure there will be accidents at wastewater discharge points. No doubt that lakeside real estate prices in the immediate vicinity of the mill will be dropping.

[6.9.2017] Äänekoski town newspaper informed us that there will be dust in the air next weekend. While before laundry hanging outside only smelled, now it becomes dirty as well. Thank you so much, our mill!

[12.9.2017] (Expletive), what a rumble was heard in the evening of 11 September! I’m sure this rumble is not lawful, because children were hysterically crying out and asking what’s going on.

[25.9.2017] We are told all the time that when the new mill will start operating properly, the smell and rumble of the launch period will end. How long does this setting up take? There has been this smell for two months already. Asthma sufferers should not go outside at all, even those of us who are healthy don’t feel well. Also, there is this awful rumble from time to time, children and dogs are afraid of it.

[2.10.2017] Before, when the air was clean (quite often), we could have babies sleep outside. That’s unthinkable now because of this unbearable stench, who knows what else we are breathing in!

[4.10.2017] Once again there was (another swearword) in the air on 2 and 3 October. Who knows what kind of pollution and toxins are falling down on us!

[5.10.2017] There is nobody from the top management, managers or superiors in the mill any more.

[17.11.2017] (Swearword) it smelled like cat pee when I was running errands today in the area of Äänekoski. I feel so sorry for the locals.

[19.11.2017] That’s what they told about the previous mill, that it would be smell-free, but it stank for 30 years.

[30.11.2017] This “bio” mill should be shut down. There is (swearword) in the air. What is more, nearby bodies of water have been almost destroyed. No point to go fishing any more.

Etc.

All this could be taken with a grain of salt, after all, it’s just an internet forum, but on its homepage the mill is constantly publishing notices on new failures.

[25.12.2017] Tonight there was a fire in the heating unit of Äänekoski bio-products mill. It was put out by the firefighters of the Emergency Rescue Unit for Central Finland and the mill’s workers.

[27.12.2017] Follow-up extinguishing work is still being carried out in the heating unit.

[9.1.2018] There was a failure in the collection system of odorous gases between 17:00 and 18:00 o’clock. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the smell.

[12.1.2018] In the morning of 12.1.2018, an exceptionally large amount of dust was released into the atmosphere due to a process failure. It contains Glauber’s salt which is not harmful, but is staining. Normal levels have been restored by now.

[4.2.2018] This morning, there was a failure in the collection system of odorous gases. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the smell.

Please forgive me, entrepreneurs – after all, it’s my job to develop and promote good relations – but deep down I’m first of all an environmental scientist and I can’t keep silent about what I’ve found out. What is going on with launching Äänekoski bio-products mill represents a highly significant and serious adverse environmental impact – and let’s not forget that Finland has decades of experience in this area.

Why am I writing about all this? Because no environmental impact assessment, even when using the best available technology, is able to adequately evaluate continuous malfunctions occurring in technological processes. In this case all we can rely on is analogies and if the facility in Äänekoski is indeed a fitting analogy, using the newest, most modern technology, as has been claimed, then can we reasonably expect that was has been going on in Äänekoski for the last six months will be our future as well. That’s how we resolved the odour problem in Lähte, although now we have a reverse problem on our hands and the wisest course of action would be to follow analogies.

In my mind’s eye, I picture the day when, for the first time, we notice the smell, be it in the city of Tartu or when fishing or hiking in its surrounding region. And then, looking ourselves in the eye, we will be thinking whether this is really the best we were able to come up with in Tartu – and Estonia. And I will be thinking, recalling this day, why didn’t I write this piece? This piece came about spontaneously, it simply surfaced within me, and I’m sure that it is well worth half a day of my leave. Anyway, sharing these thoughts has given me some peace of mind.

Right of Reply (published in its original form) by Margus Kohava, forest industrialist

Thank you, Erik, for your straightforward opinion piece in which you give voice to concerns that are on the mind of many people. I completely understand you. I can’t protect the mill in Äänekoski from the people running it. I visited the mill on 30 January. Since 15 August the mill has been in the launching stage and doesn’t operate normally yet. During the six hours I was in the mill’s territory, I noticed no unpleasant odour.

We managed to come to an agreement with the mill’s representatives that a delegation including representatives of Tartu County and environmental authorities can visit the mill in March or April. It would be great if you could join the delegation as one of the visitors.

According to the mill’s representatives, drinking water for the city of Helsinki comes from the same lake system into which the timber processing mill in Äänekoski releases its cleaned wastewater. Locals go trout fishing right by the mill, in the same lake system. Trout can survive in clean water only.

However, I can understand the concerns of people living nearby Äänekoski mill. Malfunctions may occur in the launching phase while setting the mill up for proper operation. Evidently, there have been such incidents in Äänekoski. Of course, we could debate over whether the launching stage has been long-drawn-out or not. It is no doubt that it is in the interests of locals that this period be as short as possible.

The only thing we are asking from everybody while we examine the possibility of building the mill is to exercise patience until study results will be known. All potential technology providers we have contacted up to now have assured us that with modern technology, it is possible to eliminate air, water and noise pollution. I would like to repeat once more what I have previously said on more than one occasion – there is absolutely no way that Estonian entrepreneurs currently exploring the possibility of building the mill will decide in favour of one that pollutes the environment. Our priority is – and will be – a clean environment. Tartu must stay the Tartu we know and love. The future of this city is important for us.

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