The end of May brought an industrial disaster in Lviv Oblast. On 28 May, a fire raged through the solid domestic waste landfill near the village of Velyki Hrybovychi, Zhovkva Rayon, Lviv Oblast (Hrybovychi Landfill). It took more than a day to put it out. Obviously, the smoke caused by a fire at a landfill is toxic and dangerous for human life and health, especially for residents of the neighbouring villages and cities. However, local authorities have failed to properly notify the local population of the measures to be taken to protect their life and health. Official websites offered no relevant information either.
On 30 May, a waste slide occurred that buried three firemen (information about other potential victims is yet to be clarified) and threatened to destroy an infiltration dam on lakes which, in its turn, may cause water and soil contamination. Hrybovychi landfill was established in 1950s and is one of the major pollutants throughout the whole Lviv Oblast. Recent decades have brought to light the issues of its closing, recultivation and burial of solid domestic waste, construction of waste incineration / recycling plants.
Lack of capacity of local authorities to effectively resolve long-lasting problems and handle emergencies relating to municipal waste treatment shows that they simply cannot exercise their current powers. Therefore, the issue of decentralization in the area of environmental protection needs at least public discussion, in particular in terms of sufficiency capacity of local authorities to exercise any additional powers in this area.