Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Breathe. Do not breathe. Exhale!

How to solve the main environmental problems of the Far East

Experts recognize: in the Far Eastern Federal Districts, the environmental situation has remained one of the most dysfunctional in the country for many years. Around the places where people live in the Far East, everywhere is a pristine nature, hence the problems. EastRussia understood why the solution of many environmental issues in the east of the country has not yet been able to not only proceed, but at least to approach.

Breathe. Do not breathe. Exhale!
Photo: shutterstock.com
PROTECTION WITHOUT PROGRESS

В ecological rating, compiled by the public all-Russian organization "Green Patrol", the Far Eastern regions are far from high positions, and hence, from ecological well-being. In the rating for the spring of 2018 from the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District the highest place - 11-e, - in the Magadan region. At the same time, its positions "grew" by two points compared to the previous period (in winter the region was 13-m). Chukotka and Kamchatka, on the contrary, dropped slightly in the rating (3 and 1 respectively) and occupied 26 and 29 places. Well, the rest of the regions - "Far East" can be attributed to outsiders. Sakhalin Region - on 57 place from 85 possible, Primorsky Krai - on 61-m, Khabarovsk - on 63-m. Yakutia and the Amur region occupied 67 and 68 places respectively. And the Jewish Autonomous Region was among the ten worst in the country in terms of environmental conditions and was on 76 place.

As the compilers of the rating note, this alignment stably holds for a long time - the situation, in fact, does not change since the rating was generally drawn up. When it is formed, in particular, data are taken into account on the main enterprises - polluters of the environment, on the costs of environmental measures in the region, on life expectancy. We also take into account the events that took place during the period, following which a rating is made. For example, excerpts from the "Chronicle of events" in the Primorsky Territory: mass fish, forest fires, rally against open coal transshipment, pollution of reservoirs with oil products are mentioned ... It is not surprising that the final place of Primorye in the rating turned out to be extremely low.

"The rating is formed not only on the basis of official reports, publications in the media or state statistics on the volumes and nature of emissions and various kinds of emergency situations, but also on the basis of complaints from residents of the regions coming to us," says Roman Pukalov, director of environmental programs of the Green Patrol ". - And in the Far East, frankly speaking, there is little good news. According to the EAO, in particular, the main flow of complaints is related to deforestation. We assess the adequacy and efficiency of the authorities' response to complaints from people - and in this case it is zero. And environmental responsibility of business. I will say that, by and large, there are no serious investments in environmental protection from industrial companies working in the Far Eastern Federal District. Movements for the better, too, no. However, and deterioration, too. As it was confidently bad, it is so surely bad and remains. There is a sense of prolonged stagnation, accompanied by the plundering of natural resources. At the same time, there are regions in Russia in which there has been a tremendous progress in recent years in this sphere, which means that the situation will change really, there would be a desire. Although the conditional "five" on the basis of our research can not be put to anyone yet.

Ecological problems of the Far East, of course, for no one is a secret. For the federal authorities as well. So, in the beginning of July the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nikolay Patrushev held a meeting in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with the heads of the Far Eastern regions on issues of environmental safety and rational nature management. As Patrushev said at the meeting, "the nature of non-compliance by economic entities with the norms of environmental legislation, the low level of ecological culture" becomes a threatening character. " According to his data, no more than 15% of wastewater is purified in the DFO. Consequence - strong pollution of reservoirs of aluminum, copper, zinc and phenols. Requirements for sanitary legislation are not met every sixth source of drinking water in the Far Eastern Federal District.

The Secretary of the Security Council especially noted the situation in the "coal" ports in Nakhodka and Vanino - there is an extremely high level of air pollution, marine areas and soil. In general, Patrushev stressed, 18% of the urban population in the district breathe air, which increases the content of harmful substances, and accumulated more than 630 million tons of waste in the Far Eastern Federal District.

"Painful points" of the ecological situation in the Far East are indicated. But what is being done so that they do not exist?

AGAINST BLACK SNOW

Roman Pukalov says: the largest number of complaints (and not only in the Far East, but also throughout Russia) goes to the "Green Patrol" from the Primorsky Territory - from Nakhodka. Complaints about open coal transfer at local terminals to the organization come weekly. The city suffocates, says Pukalov.

Once upon a time, Nakhodka was an "ecological oasis", one of the cleanest cities in Russia. Now in the port of Nakhodka at five coal terminals several private companies are shipping coal from the Kuzbass and sending it for export. This "activity", along with coal storage, stretching for several kilometers, made life in the city unbearable. Above the find hangs a coal smog, which is visible even from outer space, in winter black snow falls in these places, and coal dust penetrates into the houses of the inhabitants.
People wrote to many instances, went out to protest, but things moved more or less from the deadlock when, on last year's "straight line" with the president, a schoolchild from Nakhodka, Andrei Pain, told what is happening in the city.

However, to say that the situation in Nakhodka changed rapidly and radically after the presidential instructions, it is still impossible. The coal mines still dusted, and in the spring of this year the Pacific Maritime Administration of Rosprirodnadzor was forced to suspend the work of one of the coal terminals with the wording "for carrying out work to reload coal in the absence of permits for emissions of harmful substances into the atmospheric air."

In the spring, representatives of regional and municipal authorities and managers of coal companies concluded an agreement on environmental measures and, in particular, on the gradual termination of transshipment of coal by open-pit method. Nine enterprises that signed the document, undertook to fully switch to closed coal handling before the year 2020. Up to this time, they will invest more than 1,5 billion rubles in integrated environmental protection measures in Nakhodka city district. In turn, the interim head of the region, Andrei Tarasenko, promised, together with the supervisory authorities, to suspend the work of companies that can not offer effective measures to protect themselves from air pollution by coal dust.

Now work in this regard is going on - in particular, at Cape Astafyev in the Nakhodkinsky sea trading port windproof dust screens and a stationary dust suppression system are installed. These objects will cost stevedore at 150 million rubles.

Similar work goes on other terminals. In total, as the EastRussia was informed by the press service of the regional government, the companies purchased 30 dust suppression systems and nine units of special equipment, installed about two kilometers of dustproof screens.

However, the residents of Nakhodka consider: it is still too early to speak about concrete results of such measures.

"The efficiency of the measures that coal stevedores began to implement is premature," said EastRussia Artem Trembovlev, president of Primorsky Krai's public organization for the protection of human rights and cultural heritage, Nadezhda. "It's summer now, the humidity is high, there are a lot of vegetation, and the direction of the wind is such that coal dust hardly reaches the residential areas. Actually, every summer it is. And in winter the situation changes dramatically, and the city is completely covered with coal dust. And this happens every year. Now we see that all stevedoring companies have wind screens, water cannons, but how effective it is will only become clear in the fall.

Now, public officials, in addition, are waiting for the results of scientific research, which would give an objective assessment of the impact of coal terminals on the environment. It turns out that these studies either were not at all, or they were kept under the seal "secretly".

- There were no studies, although the public insisted on holding them. Recently, the governor gave an appropriate assignment to one of the core institutions, it is expected that in the autumn we will learn about the results of these studies, "says Artem Trembovlev. - And while they are not there, we can only believe our eyes and, for example, notice the huge areas covered with coal film both in the sea and on the coast. When the results of the examination will appear, we will use them for litigation as well, if necessary. But in general, what is happening now - just outrageous. The companies started construction of treatment plants, which will be ready in 2-3 year. But until they are built, industrial waste will be thrown into the air and into the sea. I think: stop work, build buildings, and then continue to work. All over the world, this is exactly what happens. Only we have the opposite.



At the same time Artem Trembovlev believes: The find will be saved.

- Last year, after the public came out to the rallies, our problem was widely discussed, we took it to the federal level. It took several months for concrete measures to be taken. But now, you can say, the flywheel is started, gained momentum, and now it is clear that the problem will be solved unequivocally.

GOLDEN ROSSIPI

Another problem, although far from new to the Far East, has become widely known relatively recently.

This summer, the Satellite Monitoring and Civil Control Center, together with the international coalition Rivers without Borders, with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Russia), received satellite imagery from three Russian regions - the Krasnoyarsk and Zabaikalsky Krais and the Amur Region. The pictures show: the water bodies there are heavily polluted because of the work of gold mining companies. And in the Amur region the situation can be called critical.

Satellite monitoring was conducted after numerous complaints of local residents. "From the ground" you can not see everything. But space images helped to determine the magnitude of the disaster. According to Alexander Kolotov, the Russian coordinator of the international coalition "Rivers without Borders", speaking specifically about the Amur region, there, as of the beginning of June, pollution of the Unakha river was detected over 90 kilometers, up to its confluence with the Zeya reservoir. The Iliqan River was polluted by more than 70 kilometers. According to Kolotov, the production of alluvial gold (by the way, banned in many countries) is the most common source of negative impacts on water bodies in the Amur basin, comparable to the magnitude of the impact of HPPs and the infrastructure of settlements. In the Amur basin, the expert notes, the negative effects of placer gold mining affected the territory of 4200 square kilometers, 13 000 kilometers of river network.

The Zeysk interdistrict department of the Amur territorial administration of Rosrybolovstvo supported the activities of environmentalists and confirmed: violations by gold miners are massive and disastrous for nature.

"During the raids, in 2017, according to established facts of negative impact on the environment, 222 initiated administrative offenses (including 13 cases against legal entities). In respect of violators, whose activities are associated with the development of deposits of alluvial gold, instituted 148 administrative cases, the ministry said. - The consequences of the activities of unscrupulous gold miners will have a negative impact on spawning grounds, which will be destroyed due to silting. Lubricants from contaminated water protection zones will be washed away by rains in the river for many years, having a negative impact on the inhabitants of water bodies. All repair sites must be outside the water protection zone of water bodies. However, in practice, with a few exceptions, one can observe the same picture: in the immediate vicinity of rivers and streams there is a repair technique, and everything is flooded with oil products around the site, there are no approved technical projects on the work sites, according to which the work should be carried out " .

In the interdistrict department of the Federal Agency for Fisheries also give concrete examples.

The Maristy Company developed a deposit on the Verny Stream (the tributary of the Djalta River, which is in its turn the right tributary of the Iliqan River). "At the dump trucks the breed was brought from the Verny stream and washed on the Jalta River. Prompribor was installed on the bank of the river, the water for washing the rock was fed directly from the riverbed ... There were no filtration tanks, the river from the device downstream was heavily polluted with suspended particles, "the ministry explained.

The company "Dambuka Dredge" on the Iliqan River, experts say, mined gold with project violations, while the water protection zone was heavily polluted with heavily used oil products. Employees of the Fishing Division found their spills on the shore of Ilikan. Were lodged nearby and the barrels of oil products: their remains flowed to the ground.
Rosprirodnadzor in the Amur region this summer conducted an audit of the described facts (note: conducted for the first time!). Violators will be taken measures.

"This year we worked for the Amur Region for the first time, and we are glad that we received a prompt response from the regional Rosprirodnadzor," says Alexander Kolotov. - At the same time, dozens of complaints from residents of the region continue to come to us. I will say directly: in the Amur region in this regard, the situation is awful. The problem of barbaric gold mining has matured and overhauled. But the fact is that the current legislation actually unties the hands of unscrupulous gold miners. So, Rosprirodnadzor can not come to them for sampling without warning - and for two or three days the prospectors will have time to "clean up" everything for themselves. In addition, artels often work in remote, inaccessible areas. But even if the gold miners are caught in the deed, the case will reach the court, and the court will impose punishment on them - what will it be for punishment? Fines well, let the tens of thousands of rubles. For gold miners, it's nothing. That is, these companies have no economic incentive to improve their activities. But I repeat: the fact that the regional Rosprirodnadzor reacted quickly to the information provided by us is a very good, encouraging sign.

WOOD RUBY - THE FILLERS BURN

Now much is said about large-scale deforestation in Russia, primarily in the Far East and Eastern Siberia. But felling, which is conducted on an industrial scale, how to treat them, it is easy to control, not that the activity of numerous sawmills. Production wastes - that is sawdust - they do not dispose of as they are supposed to do (and often they do not have to be disposed of and there are no special polygons), but they are simply burned. And from this the settlements are choked, next to which are the sawmills.

This problem was touched, for example, by the inhabitants of the settlements of Limestone and Berezovye in the Khabarovsk Territory.

Ekaterina Drobot, a resident of Lime, a deputy of the Padalino village council, says: the residents of the village have been choking for eight or nine years. Since then, the sawmill began to work in their places.

- The division of the company "DV-Maximum Plus" is working next to us. Its founders are Chinese citizens, and their head office is in Khabarovsk. We tried to get out on them, ask them to solve the situation, but they do not go to the contact, - Catherine says. - We wrote complaints to law enforcement bodies, to the prosecutor's office. Infringements there recognized, like for some time work of the enterprise have suspended, territory have enclosed, the watchman have put. And now everything is working anew. And sawdust also burns. We are suffocating. And do not see, it happens, each other a few meters away. Those who live near the sawmill live on, linen can not be hung on the street - it turns black in a day.

Ekaterina Drobot says: since the inhabitants of Limestones took up their right to breathe normal air, it means they will try to bring the matter to an end and achieve its goal.

I want to believe, of course, that this will happen, and that experts will have fewer reasons to talk about the Far East as a territory where "everything is long and confidently bad" when compiling the next environmental rating.