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EastRussia Newsletter: Irkutsk Region Insists on Extending the Federal Target Program to Protect Baikal - EastRussia | Far East

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EastRussia Bulletin: Irkutsk region insists on extending the Federal Targeted Program for the Protection of Lake Baikal

EastRussia Bulletin: Irkutsk region insists on extending the Federal Targeted Program for the Protection of Lake Baikal
Photo: EastRussia
The international Baikal Ecological Forum held last week, which was organized in the Irkutsk Region under the control of Governor Sergey Levchenko, discussed the fate of the Federal Target Program for the Protection of Lake Baikal, calculated up to 2020. The senator from the Irkutsk Region, Vitaly Shuba, proposed to develop the second phase of the Federal Target Program, which should include measures for wastewater treatment and the complete elimination of waste from the Baikal pulp and paper mill, according to the next published issue of the EastRussia bulletin.

Previously, the Ministry of Economic Development proposed early termination of the FTP due to the failure of a number of activities in time and errors in the management of the program. For example, until now the liquidation of the negative impact of waste accumulated as a result of the activities of OJSC Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill has not been implemented. In turn, the Ministry of Natural Resources is in favor of extending the program to 2025 and increasing its funding. In addition, according to environmentalists, in case of failure to allocate sufficient money, Russia will not be able to meet the international obligations taken earlier to protect the lake. For example, UNESCO insists on the creation of Russia by the system of ecological monitoring of Lake Baikal, which is included in the World Heritage List, and also requires information on the plans for the use of the pulp and paper mill site.

Analysts of EastRussia note that over the years of the program the region has mastered 1,3 billion rubles: seven objects have been constructed, six of them - utility and one landfill of solid household waste. In 2017, 2,2 billion rubles have been allocated to the region, four sites are working. In 2018-2020 years the federal program submitted an application for 21 billion rubles, which corresponds to the most active phase of the program. These funds are planned to build 10 sewage treatment facilities in 10 settlements, several solid waste landfills, a garbage processing complex, strengthen the banks of Lake Baikal in Listvyanka, eliminate waste from the BPPM in Baikalsk, demercurize the shop in Usolye-Sibirskoye. In addition, the possibility of increasing the financing of the current program from 58 to 80-90 billion rubles is being discussed.

Secondly, the priority is to address water treatment issues. According to Sergey Levchenko, it is more profitable to build new sewage treatment plants at Baikal than to modernize old ones (32 facilities). At the same time, according to environmental assessments, none of the existing sewage treatment plants built more than 25 years ago does not work. As a result, following the results of the Baikal Ecological Water Forum, the government of the Irkutsk Region will look for and identify the developer of the wastewater treatment technology for the coast of Lake Baikal. It is also planned to set up a recycling plant in the town of Usolye-Siberian.

A detailed analysis of this and other relevant topics can be found in the weekly bulletin EastRussia (https://www.eastrussia.ru/subscribe/).