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Lessons From the Baia Mare, Romania, Spill Water Quality and Politics

Financial assurance is usually inadequate or lacking, thus mining companies may avoid paying for potential environmental impacts. This is a special concern where foreign-owned companies use bankruptcy and international laws to avoid financial responsibility. Citizens, thus, subsidize environmental impact costs.

The Romanian government, being a partner in the Baia Mare operation, did not require the company to post any financial bond or other financial assurance. Following the spill, the company was required to pay a fine equivalent to $US170.