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10 Dick. J. Int'l L. 159 (1991-1992)
Bridging the Gap in Eastern Europe: Forty Years of Communist Indifference and the New Environmental Realities in Poland

handle is hein.journals/psilr10 and id is 167 raw text is: Bridging the Gap in Eastern Europe:
Forty Years of Communist Indifference
and the New Environmental Realities in
Poland
We cannot wait for favors from nature, our task is to take them
from her.
Soviet Communist Party slogan
Environmental pollution is the price that has to be paid for in-
dustrial development and the development of civilization.
Zycie Warszawy, November, 1982'
I. Introduction
In 1989 United States President George Bush spoke of a new
openness in Eastern Europe.' At the opening of the United Nations
General Assembly, President Bush stated that the advance of free-
dom is evident everywhere in Eastern Europe and state and society
are now in the midst of a movement towards political pluralism and
a free market economy.' He said that one of the global chal-
lenges to growth in the twenty-first century is the threat of indus-
trial pollution.4 One of the ways President Bush proposed to ap-
proach urgent environmental issues was by exploring avenues to
work with other nations to make common cause for the sake of our
environment.'8 The fall of the communist governments of Eastern
Europe has exposed an environmental regulatory system that is ill-
equipped to confront the serious problems created by the pollution of
the air, water, and soil.
These problems are enormous. Almost all the water in Poland's
rivers is unfit for human consumption, and roughly 50% is so toxic
that it is even unfit for industrial use.6 Half of the Polish communi-
1. Singleton, Introduction, in ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN THE SOVIET UNION AND
EASTERN EUROPE 6 (F. Singleton ed. 1987).
2. N.Y. Times, Sep. 26, 1989, at A16, col. 1.
3.  Id.
4.  Id.
5. Id. In concluding his remarks on the environment President Bush stated: The envi-
ronment belongs to all of us. In this new world of freedom the world citizens must enjoy this
common trust for generations to come. Id.
6. N.Y. Times, Feb. 7, 1990, at A24, col. 1.

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