2.A.3 Control of pollution hot spots in the Black Sea coastal region
Problem Stakeholders Uncertainties Proposed actions and costs Milestones
A number of heavily polluting land-based point sources within coastal areas of each Black Sea coastal country have severe impacts on some or all of the following areas: human health, beach tourism, commercial fisheries and biodiversity. Economic valuation of the effects of pollution from these ‘hot spots’ and other polluting sites indicate that, in the case of beach tourism alone, actions leading to a 20% improvement in Black Sea water quality could generate $550 million in annual economic benefits to coastal economies. This estimate does not include expected benefits to human health and fisheries.

A multi-criteria assessment, based on factors related to human and economic welfare as well as environmental impacts, identify and rank 10 ‘hot spots’ within coastal areas of each Black Sea coastal country. These are being ranked on a scale of 0-100, where the most critical site in each country = 100 (see 3.A.3).

Polluting state enterprises, their suppliers, customers and employees

Other consumptive and non-consumptive users of Black Sea environmental resources

Households, who would be expected to bear much of the cost of improved wastewater treatment systems


Cost estimates made thus far are based on a preliminary scoping exercise, and are designed to illustrate the rough magnitude of the problem and the need for action by all countries. Further work is required in order to:
(i) more carefully estimate capital investment costs and potential benefits associated with individual investments;
(ii) incorporate estimations of operations and maintenance costs, and
(iii) assess issues associated with cost recovery, such as user fees and other economic instruments.

It has not been possible so far to make accurate inter-country comparisons regarding the degree of severity of identified hot spots, and thereby to develop a set of hot spots prioritised at the regional level.

There is uncertainty regarding the availability of financing for either capital investment or operations and maintenance costs.

Only directly discharging point sources have been included in the analysis.

Agreement will be reached at national and regional level on a final ranked list of hot spot sites.

National Black Sea Action Plans will be prepared which incorporate strategies and timetables for addressing identified priority hot spots.

In cases where National BSAPs have determined that investments (as opposed to policy changes or economic restructuring) are required in order to address specific hot spot sites, financing will be identified and pre-investment and investment work will commence.

A preliminary estimate of the total investment cost associated with remedial action for the above sites is $332 million (not including operations and maintenance).

Agreement by late 1996 on a ranked list of hot spot sites to be included as an Annex to the Black Sea Action Plan.

Development of National Black Sea Action Plans by end 1997.

Review and wide public dissemination in 2001 by the Istanbul Commission of progress in remediating identified and agreed hot spot sites.

Review and updating of the list of pollution hot spots by the Istanbul Commission in 2001.

By 2006, substantial and quantifiable reductions, to acceptable national and international standards, of levels of pollutants arising from former coastal hot spots.

See also

3.A.3 Hot Spots in the Black Sea Region