Taking On Polluting Pig Farms in Ukraine

Photo by Pixabay

The people of Byliky in Central Ukraine are celebrating a victory over a polluting pig farm. The farm, in the village in Poltava Oblast, had its land lease terminated in 2018, due to gross negligence. Last month, the newly elected village council voted to ban all polluting facilities within the limits of Byliky village, to ensure that vacated land and farm premises would not be taken over by new, polluting farms.

Community members from Byliky join EPL lawyer Sophia Shutiak (2nd from left).

“Untreated liquid manure contaminates fields and groundwater, and with operations dangerously close to residential areas, odors and insects are unbearable, particularly in summer.” says Olya Melen-Zabramna, head of the legal department at Environment-People-Law (EPL) and 2006 Goldman Prize winner.
ELAW has collaborated with EPL for years to help communities challenge polluting pig farms, providing information on how pig feedlots are regulated in Europe and how U.S. environmental organizations draw attention to the environmental and health impacts of “factory farms.” ELAW has also provided guidance on how to test soil samples to measure the impact of pig manure disposal, and how to estimate ammonia and greenhouse emissions from swine feedlots.

In December, activists from Byliky joined more than 80 leaders of non-profit organizations in Ukraine for in-person and Zoom workshops to strengthen their organizations and better protect the environment. The workshops, held in the Carpathian Mountains, were hosted by EPL with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund.

ELAW Associate Director Lori Maddox and Communications Director Maggie Keenan participated in the workshops remotely, providing keys to strengthening nonprofit communications, and demystifying financial planning and reporting.

“Participants were pleased to learn from our expert team about how they can magnify their impact,” says Olena Kravchenko, EPL Executive Director.

Lidia Plyznyk from the NGO Swoja Zemlya (Our Land) receives a certificate for participation in EPL’s December workshops.

For example, Lidia Plyznyk from the NGO Swoja Zemlya (Our Land), based in Byliky, enjoyed the workshop and tapped expertise for community projects to monitor air quality and advance waste reform.

Congratulations to everyone at EPL for great work strengthening civil society and holding polluters accountable!

For more information, see the following on EPL’s website:
The Bilykiv community has defended its right to a safe living environment

Protection of environmental activists from Bilyky village

Immunity of Bilyky pig farm

Minimization of the affect on the environment and residents` health from the results of operation of piggery of “Silski Traduciyi” LtD

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide