Chills and Spills
A serious cyanide spill in Romania has polluted the Tisza River and angered Hungary, which is downstream from the accident. The Hungarian media have been filled with reports of dying fish, birds, and other wildlife, and towns along the river in central Hungary have been forced to close their water intake systems, officials said. The cyanide spill happened on January 31, when a protective wall at a gold smelter was damaged by heavy snowfall. Hungary plans to ask Romania for restitution and expects a cooperative response, in part because Romania wants to begin negotiations on joining the European Union and environmental issues are a serious concern for the EU.