A non-hazardous smell originating from a port in North Tallinn (Põhja-Tallinn), which spreads across the whole district, is stronger this year and complaints have been submitted to the emergency center and Environmental Board.
The smell comes from oil residue processing and the transporting of oil and chemicals at Paljassaare Port. When the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, it can spread across the whole district.
Pelgulinn resident Olga said she cannot smell the odor every day, but it does disturb locals' lives.
"You're walking around and you realize, gosh, it smells really strong. Once you've been living here for a while, the smell becomes familiar. But in the beginning, I was at home and I did not understand that if the wind was blowing then that's why it smelled. Then you start to understand – it's a familiar smell, it's from the same place," she told Friday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".
North Tallinn District Mayor Manuela Pihlap said the stench has been a problem for years, but this year it is worse than ever.
"All the staff in the North Tallinn district administration have smelt it and it is worrying, and many of us have also said that when the smell is very strong, it also makes people dizzy and they feel sick," she said.
Four hundred odor complaints have been made this year. Rainer Vakra, director general of the Environmental Board, said the most complaints come from North Tallinn.
Several tests measuring the amount of pollutants at the port have been carried out, and the most recent was in May.
"The result of the tests is that, if you look at the legal standards, they were not exceeded, but what we actually know is that the human nose can often smell [something] even if the legal standards are not exceeded," Vakra said.
Vakra and Pihlap said the legal limit should be reviewed.
"The standards allowed by law today are perhaps too high and we should also look at changing this legislation in the future," said Pihlap.
The Environmental Board is in constant communication with companies located in the port and improvements are being made, Vakra said.
In the long run, industrial companies are planning to relocate from Paljassaare Port.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera