If you are wondering why we, 10 local residents in Göd, established Göd-Ért Egyesület, “For Göd Association”, the environmental and urban protection organization on March 1, 2020, read the following! If you feel our goals are important to you, please sign our petition and send us your intention to join as soon as possible.
Our goal is to ensure that our city – the Pearl and Gate of the Danube Bend, the Paradise of Flora and Fauna – does not become a totally polluted industrial city! Currently, a multi-national company is making Hungary’s largest industrial investment in Göd, in the immediate vicinity of our homes. We know we are defying the almost impossible, but we must stop the further industrialization of our heritage and home environment.
Be informed, ask questions and join! Let’s work together for a calm and healthy environment!
Göd has always been a calm settlement 27-km far from Budapest. Back in 2016, without asking and informing the local residents in advance, the previous city administration of Göd and the Hungarian Government decided to sacrifice the whole city – very popular with families with young children – and gave the green light to the mega-construction of one of the most hazardous industrial production premises of the world, the Samsung SDI lithium-ion battery plant.
The public learned about that subsequently, from the media. The local residents were informed about a much lower land and labour requirements than the hidden needs included in the real construction and operation plans.
Back in autumn of 2018, the population was shocked to see that 25-hectare forest was simply cleared on the fringes of the city, along the M2 motorway. The forest functioned as a noise and polluted air barrier towards the city, whose wildlife desperately fled to the populated areas. After that, the gigantic factory construction accelerated, smoking and noisy towers, huge factory buildings, and electrolyte storage facilities were established.
Despite repeated concerns from the public, work is ongoing, without interruption, and at a tremendous pace ever since. The previous city administration, with the acquisition of the former forest and additional agricultural land, allowed Samsung to purchase an additional 80 hectares. Construction on the extended area is pushed ahead without any public consent.
Local residents delivered their opinion in the municipal elections. The new city government, announcing its “green program”, won the elections.
They also promised to keep in touch with the management of Samsung, to build an external protection system for the safety of the population and to assess the real depreciation on local residents’ homes.
At the same time, it is a fact that the new municipality was confronted with a fait accompli by the previous local government.
The construction and operation of the dangerous plant in Göd, and another 80-hectare industrial area “sold, or in reality, rather handed over” to Samsung, was already a fact. The factory was announced to be a major public investment, along with its construction decided by the Hungarian government. The municipality therefore emphasizes that its possibilities in this situation are limited – it must synchronize the representation and protection of the interests of the population with the will of the Hungarian government.
However, apart from the personal change in city management, the attitude of the authorities has not changed.
We still do not know when and how the apparent anomalies including the operation of the industrial premises, the drastically increased traffic, the high level of the vibration of the homes, the noise, dust and light pollution will cease to exist. We have no information about what investigations and decisions have been made – whether at all – to reduce or to eliminate the irreversible environmental damage. We do not have the slightest idea of the size, composition, features and effects of the real pollution in the short and long term.
On April 17, 2020 a government decree established a special economic zone in Göd.
With this simple trick, Samsung factory and the surrounding areas were taken away from the city by the Hungarian government and given to Pest County. 20% of the city territory became county property: in addition to the industrial area, several roads, streets, forests, arable land, playgrounds and sports fields were added to the county at the stroke of a pen. The decree also deprived the municipality of the collection of local business tax. But even more trouble is that the decree simply took away the right from the city and its residents to be informed about the further expansion of the industrial premises or at least to ask for the construction of an external protection system for the legitimate safety of the population. On paper, the city and its inhabitants have nothing to do with the huge factory construction. As if the factory did not exist in Göd – since it is located outside the city on paper.
We, the residents of Göd, have simply been left out from the decisions that fundamentally affect our quality of life. However, we cannot agree to the current negative processes. They are unacceptable for us. Therefore, we decided that it is necessary to establish a new non-governmental organization, the Göd-ÉRT Environmental and Urban Protection Association, registered on 11 March, 2020.
Our association intends to focus on the effects of the industrial premises on the environment and the population, and to represent the human right to healthy environment.