Cleanup Since

Much has been done since 1990, including cleaning up a chemical and nuclear waste-pit at Sulina, where European countries dumped waste in exchange for hard currency; building new smoke stacks at Baia Mare, Romania's largest non-ferrous metal centre; closing industrial plants in Giurgiu and Cop$a Mica and outfitting others with special filters.

Though the pollution bellowing out of Romania's factories has been halved, air pollution still exceeds acceptable levels in some areas, and the Danube Delta has a long way to go before it can be pronounced a healthy environment (especially after the gold-mine disaster in Baia Mare in 2000, when 100,000 cubic metres of cyanide-contaminated water spilled into the Tisa and Danube rivers). The DDBR has worked hard to 'ecologically reconstruct' large areas of land in the Delta (p200), but the drive to develop tourism and build resorts and sports facilities in or near bird and animal breeding grounds there is threatening one of the planet's most delicate ecosystems.

Change in Moldova has been even slower. Never heavily industrial, it faces more issues of protection and conservation than pollution. A majority of its 3600 rivers and rivulets were drained, diverted or dammed, threatening ecosystems.

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