DESTRUCTION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN POLISH MARITIME AREAS - LEGAL OBSTACLES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Published: 1 Nov 2023
Abstract: The problem of post-war chemical weapons lying on the seabed of the Baltic Sea is an issue which, in addition to posing environmental threats, may soon also have a direct impact on the realisation of many investments planned to be located in Polish maritime areas. In the nearest future this problem will concern in particular investors connected with the construction of offshore wind farms. Despite the fact that these investments are located outside the official sites of chemical weapons dumping, it is necessary to take into account the risk of the presence of chemical weapons in the area of the realised investment during its realisation, in particular at the stage of geological, and construction research. This is due to the fact that to date there is no comprehensive inventory of the Polish maritime areas in terms of estimating the total amount of dumped chemical weapons, the types of chemical warfare agents filling them, and the exact locations of their deposition. The presence of chemical weapons in the area of the planned investment may significantly delay its implementation, thus exposing investors to enormous losses associated with the downtime necessary to remove the threat. In the current Polish formal, and legal State, there is no specific legal basis for taking actions aimed at clearing sea areas designated for economic use of dangerous objects, such as dumped chemical weapons. There is no entity responsible for coordinating such activities, no entity capable of extracting, and destroying chemical munitions with their contained toxic warfare agents in accordance with the law in force, and there are no identified sources of funding for such activities. It is already necessary to take appropriate legal, administrative, and organisational steps for the extraction, and destruction of dumped chemical munitions in the areas of investment activities so that, among other things, the offshore wind farms can start producing energy as planned. This article analyses the legal obstacles to the clean-up of maritime investment areas from chemical weapons, and identifies the need for legal, and organisational changes to enable investors to safely carry out their planned investments in Polish maritime areas. The aim of this article is not to analyse the issue of the clean-up of chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea, although this problem is also the subject of numerous discussions on the international forum, in particular the European Parliament.
Keywords: chemical weapons, baltic sea, chemical warfare agents, chemical weapons convention
Cite this article: Jacek Fabisiak, Marek Drygas. DESTRUCTION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN POLISH MARITIME AREAS - LEGAL OBSTACLES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS. Journal of International Scientific Publications: Ecology & Safety 17, 74-92 (2023). https://www.scientific-publications.net/en/article/1002626/
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