Establishing a German-Polish emergency preparedness system to combat large-scale river contamination stemming from man-made or natural environmental disasters

The German districts of Uckermark and Barnim and the Polish district of Gryfino have worked together in the context of this project to put emergency preparedness systems into place for their shared border region on the river Oder.

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Cross-border training exercises and testing of new equipment on the Oder river.  © Joint Technical Secretariat of the Programme, Löcknitz Cross-border training exercises and testing of new equipment on the Oder river. © Joint Technical Secretariat of the Programme, Löcknitz

" The intensive cross-border cooperation in the prevention and elimination of hazards will help to increase the feeling of safety among the inhabitants of the border region. "

Lead Partner of the project, Landkreis Uckermark

The aim of this cross-border cooperation is to increase environmental security and to prevent and tackle natural accidents such as forest fires or oil spills in the river. The shared systems are ultimately designed to avert environmental threats, mitigate the impacts of possible industrial disasters, and be ready to tackle a range of natural disasters should they occur.

Acquisition of specialised equipment

EU funding for the project made it possible to purchase specialised equipment that would aid in tackling environmental emergencies. This was split among the three districts. The German district of Uckermark acquired a transport vehicle, a rubber dinghy, fireboats, and a set of equipment to tackle environmental pollution, such as an oil barrier for the river. The German district of Barnim received a fire engine and fork lift truck. The Polish district of Gryfino acquired pneumatic rescue tents, a supply vehicle, a manoeuvre boat and a 400 metre oil barrier.

Cross-border training exercises

The project included training and simulation exercises were with the relevant services in the districts to round off the project. This was also a means to test the new equipment. The first was a joint Polish-German rescue exercise that took place on 14 June 2014 that simulated the discharging of several tons of fuel from a barge into the river Oder. A total of around 170 German and Polish firefighters took part in this rescue operation.

Thanks to the exercises carried out within this project, the various possibilities and technical compatibility of the new equipment could be tested. The project has thus helped to strengthen ecological safety through emergency preparedness in these three cross-border districts in the Oder river region.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Establishment of a German-Polish system to combat large-scale pollution of the river Oder and to tackle other events in the border areas” is EUR 1 960 544, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 634 439 from the Operational Programme “Poland - Germany” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.


Draft date

01/02/2016