Czechs to receive funds for environmental clean-up from US

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Czech communities will receive nearly 1 million dollars in U.S. government grants for environmental projects including chemical plant cleanups. The largest of the grants awarded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency will be used to launch site remediation at the Synthesia chemical complex in the town of Pardubice.

Czech communities will receive nearly 1 million dollars in U.S. government grants for environmental projects including chemical plant cleanups. The largest of the grants awarded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency will be used to launch site remediation at the Synthesia chemical complex in the town of Pardubice.

According to the Czech National Property Fund, the plant is one of the most serious cases of contamination in the Czech Republic. Forty years of production at Synthesia has left hazardous wastes in the ground, groundwater and buildings within the flood plain of the Elbe river which flows north through Germany to the North Sea.

A separate grant will finance a study of dioxin contamination at the Spolana chemical plant near Prague, which the environmental group Greenpeace recently cited as a major threat to the Elbe.

Other U.S. grants will be used to study Czech company proposals to build two energy plants in Plzen - one for burning municipal wastes and another that would turn plant waste into heat and electricity. National Property Fund spokeswoman Jana Viskova said the grant projects allowed Czech officials to tap America's "extensive experience and knowledge" with environmental problems.