Pollution in the Russian Arctic: the surface cleaning is completed

Pollution dans l’Arctique russe: le nettoyage en surface terminé

MOSCOW | cleaning of the fuel to the surface of a river, polluted the end of may by a leakage of oil is unprecedented in the Russian Arctic has been completed, said Tuesday evening the Russian authorities.

“The active phase of collection of the water-fuel on the surface of the river is completed. Work is continuing to clean small bodies of water [nearby], as well as to treat the shore,” said the emergency Situations ministry, quoted by Russian agencies.

“It is necessary to continue to monitor the environmental situation to immediately take additional measures if necessary”, said the minister, Evguéni Zinichev, adding that it was “now think about restoring the environment”.

On-site last week, the director general of Transneft Siberia, Victor Bronnikov, had told AFP that the “full clean up will take years”.

On 29 may, 21 000 tonnes of fuel contained in the tank of a thermal power plant owned by the mining giant Norilsk Nickel are disposed in the Ambarnaïa and on the land close to the river, tinting the water-course of a purple color.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin then has declared a state of emergency. According to Russian agencies, the emergency Situations ministry had proposed to reduce the level of emergency of the site from the 20th of June.

The ministry has also indicated having installed booms and absorbent to prevent the entrance of pollution in the lake Piassino, adding that daily tests were carried out in the nearby rivers.

The governor of the territory concerned had said last week that pollution had reached the lake Piassino, from the Ambarnaïa, and raised the possibility that it spreads up to the arctic sea of Kara.

Norilsk Nickel, for its part, denied the pollution of this lake.

The company believes that the accident was probably caused by the thawing of permafrost, a consequence of climate change, which would have resulted in the collapse of the pillars supporting the tank.

This cast under the effects of the warming of the planet is regarded in Russia as a major challenge, because it undermines all the cities and the infrastructures including mining, gas and oil, built-up over decades.

Share Button