The Environment Chronicle

Notable environmental events between 1980 and 1989 Deselect

  1. The "Aragon" loses c. 25,000 t oil.

  2. The Khark 5 explodes north of the Canary Islands, losing c. 70,000 t light crude oil.

  3. The Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS) is the German Federal Authority for Radiation Protection. The BfS was established on 1 November 1989. The site of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection is Salzgitter. The Bfs is supervised by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). BfS works for the safety and protection of man and the environment against damages due to ionising and non-ionising radiation.

  4. Within the portfolio of the Home Affairs Minister, an independent federal authority is set up, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

  5. Within the portfolio of the Home Affairs Minister, an independent federal authority is set up, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. The act was last amended on 6.4.1998.

  6. Special protection shall be provided for the listed wild flora and fauna.

  7. The first Tropical Forest Day was celebrated in Germany on 14th of September, 1989.

  8. When the freighter "Oostzee" enters heavy seas, some of the 4,000 barrels of epichlorhydrin begin to leak, although extensive salvage efforts prevent a catastrophe.

  9. On 10 July 1989, Rainbow Warrior II was launched in Hamburg, the fourth anniversary of the sinking of her predecessor, the original Rainbow Warrior.

  10. 250 activists occupy Hoechst's site at Frankfurt and demand a halt to CFC production. On 29th and 30th August, DuPont in Deepwater, New jersey is the target. The water tower is occupied and a delivery of CFCs is blocked for 8 hours.

  11. The Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef (the captain was drunk), losing c. 40,000 t crude oil. 7,000 km of coastline are polluted, the cleanup and compensation for the State of Alaska and affected residents cost 2.5 billion US$. An additional fine of 15 billion US$ was demanded.

  12. In Basel (CH) the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention) was adopted on. The Convention aims in introducing a system for controlling the export, import and disposal of hazardous wastes and their disposal, to reduce the volume of such exchanges so as to protect human health and the environment. It entered into force on 5th of May, 1992. The European Community has implemented the Basel Convention by the Council Directive on waste disposal (91/156/EEC) legally binding for all member states (entered into force in 1993).

  13. The Argentinian tanker and supply ship "Bahia Paraiso" strikes a rock south of Cape Horn and sinks. 1,000 t diesel form a 10 km long oil slick on the hitherto untouched coast of the Antarctic.

  14. The "Bahia Paraiso" spills c. 680 t diesel oil.

  15. Orchid of the Year is organised by Arbeitskreis Heimische Orchideen (AHO); Zur Hainerde 26, D-61169 Friedberg, Tel. 06031-14014,

  16. Bird of the Year 1989 is the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).

  17. The Frankfurt Conference adopted a key, pioneering document, the European charta "Environment and Health". The charta defines rights and obligations, among other things. A European Centre for Environment and Health was established.

  18. BUND presents its first BUNDruf, a professional information and advertising campaign to find sponsors and attract donations. This campaign has the topic tropical rain forests.

  19. Flower of the Year 1989 is the Carthusian Pink (Dianthus carthusianorum).

  20. Tree of the Year is organised by Kuratorium Baum des Jahres; Kneippstr. 15; D-95615 Marktredwitz; Tel.: +49 9231 985848; Fax: +49 9231 82927;

  21. Tree of the Year 1989 is the Pedunculate Oak or English oak (Quercus robur).

  22. Landscape of the Year is organised by Naturfreunde Internationale; Diefenbachgassen 36; A-1150 Wien; Tel.: +43 1 8923877; Fax: +43 1 8129789, Projektbüro: Burkhard Teichert, Tel. 03361-760705,

  23. Orchid of the Year 1989: Western marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis)

  24. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created in 1988. It was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to prepare, based on available scientific information, assessments on all aspects of climate change and its impacts, with a view of formulating realistic response strategies. The initial task for the IPCC as outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution 43/53 of 6 December 1988 was to prepare a comprehensive review and recommendations with respect to the state of knowledge of the science of climate change; the social and economic impact of climate change, and possible response strategies and elements for inclusion in a possible future international convention on climate.

  25. On 10 November 1988, the Liberian tanker Odyssey, almost fully loaded with a cargo of 132,157 tonnes of crude oil, broke in half and sank 700 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic.

  26. Four activists climb a crane at the heavily guarded building site, and unroll a massive banner: "Solar energy, not plutonium"

  27. An electrical fault closes all the valves in the main steam system. An unsuccessful attempt to open them manually creates a shock wave in the steam lines, which can fortunately withstand the pressure. Otherwise, a meltdown could have been the result (source: Greenpeace).

  28. The campaign against chlorine bleaching continues in southern Norway with the ascent of a chimney stack at the "Borregaard" pulp and paper factory.

  29. Four climbers scale the chimney stack at the Luxembourg steelworks "Arbed-Belval", whose sulphur dioxide emissions contribute to acid rain.

  30. The cargo ship "Anne Broere" sinks with c. 248 hl of toxic acrylonitrile.

  31. In January 1988, a four-million gallon oil storage tank owned by Ashland Oil Company, Inc., split apart and collapsed at an Ashland oil storage facility located in Floreffe, Pennsylvania, near the Monongahela River. The tank split while being filled to capacity for the first time after it had been dismantled and moved from an Ohio location and reassembled at the Floreffe facility. The split released diesel oil over the tank's containment dikes, across a parking lot on an adjacent property, and into an uncapped storm drain that emptied directly into the river. Within minutes the oil slick moved miles down river, washing over two dam locks and dispersing throughout the width and depth of the river. The oil was carried by the Monongahela River into the Ohio River, temporarily contaminating drinking water sources for an estimated one million people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, contaminating river ecosystems and killing wildlife.

  32. Bird of the Year 1988 is the Wryneck (Jynx torquilla).

  33. Flower of the Year 1988 is the Water Arum (Calla palustris).

  34. No more leaded petrol at German petrol stations.

  35. The battery industry and retailers commit themselves to accept used wet or dry batteries and power cells, and to dispose of them properly. A staged reduction in the mercury content of Alkali-Manganese batteries is also agreed. This is a significant source of mercury in domestic waste.

  36. Seepage of mineral fertilisers (phosphates) causes chrysochromulina algae to explode in the coastal seas. Life in the upper regions of the sea is suffocated.

  37. Biotope of the Year is organised by Naturschutz-Zentrum Hessen; Organisationsbüro "biotop des Jahres"; Friedenstr. 38; D-35578 Wetzlar; Tel.: +49 6441 924800;