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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Birthmarks oil reality

In recent years in many regions of Russia, frequent accidents leading to leaks and the oil spill. Such incidents inevitably accompanied by damage to the environment, so the Russian government decided to seriously tackle the culprits of environmental disasters. In particular, the Federal environmental Council in Khanty-Mansiysk was a conversation on increase of penalties and the suspension of operation of enterprises, which allowed the oil spill.

photo: morguefile.com

The bill was submitted to the government in January and involves increasing the size of fines for companies up to 500,000 rubles. Moreover, it is expected to punish themselves for not only spills, but for withholding information about them, for violation of the requirements for the elimination and prevention of spills. Hard-core recidivists expects the suspension of operations for up to 90 days.

The tightening of those responsible for environmental accidents is really long overdue. Reports of oil spills and leaks from pipelines, the total length of which in Russia reaches 70 000 km, it comes from many regions, almost on a monthly basis. For example, recently there was a breakthrough on one of the pipelines in the East of the country in Udmurtia. In the ground and rivers got oily fluid. In early April, a huge oil slick floated on the river Ukhta, polluting its banks and destroying the natural ecosystem. Greenpeace Russia has persistently sounded the alarm on this fact. Last year, several large oil spills were registered in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous district.

“This problem is very important and relevant. It appeared in the Soviet Union, when they began to actively be laid oil from new deposits to consumers, ” says ecologist Elena Esina, expert on environmental rights Council under the President of Russia on development of civil society and human rights. — But the more acute this problem has become in the 2000s the years thanks to the numerous breakthroughs of oil and gas pipelines in areas with a vulnerable natural environment — especially in the tundra, which is a very long time recovering. The period of ecosystem recovery lasts for decades. If we talk about the impact on different types of biota, — the expert continues, — that the nature of the damage caused is colossal. Oil spills on the soil destroying the huge reservoir of biota, resulting in disrupted the entire food chain: soil insects are killed, reduced the quantity and quality of food for the birds. So the implications are drawn up to man. On water objects of the same final quality of bioproducts nedopoluchat is the man. Separately, there is a huge reservoir of deaths of birds associated with oil spills. Not all manage to wash, save, and the damage is very difficult to estimate, because in our Russian techniques impacts in future periods are not considered. These practices were adopted long ago and is now ineffective. So, it is necessary not only to strengthen penalties against companies allowing oil spills, but the supervision over them” — stated Elena Esina.

In fairness it should be noted that accidents occur not only on the pipeline. The pipelines through which consumers delivered natural gas, and the total length of which in Russia is 14 000 kilometers, also sometimes be susceptible to such incidents. However, significant environmental problems in such accidents is almost not observed, since natural gas is usually burned off quickly and completely. One of the largest cases of this kind occurred in 2009 in Moscow. Then the flame from the burning gas rose to a height of 200 metres, five people were injured, burned a few dozen cars.

Another major gas explosion occurred in the center of Moscow in 2012 — when pressure testing of the pipeline has occurred the gap. By the way, technogenic phenomena of the type of unauthorized intrusion or violation of security rules, as a rule, and become the causes of PE pipelines. To prevent all such objects are subject to regular inspections by the Supervisory authorities, but accidents unfortunately still happen from time to time.

Another example, not related to the oil: in the summer of 2015 to the country’s only pipeline Tolyatti—Odessa has leaked ammonia. But the environmental consequences of this incident and with little impact on the environment. Part of 559 kg of ammonia is simply evaporated due to the volatility of this chemical compound. People will not be affected, and already in the evening of the next day the pipeline was working normally.

— The accident that occurred on June 21, the first of its kind on ammonia. This is stated in the act of Rostekhnadzor on the basis of the investigation, — said General Director of the pipeline operator — the company “Transammiak” — Andrey Ivanov. — Thanks to the coordinated and timely work of experts, the damage has been minimized, as a result of accident nobody suffered.

And although the local media tried to inflate the hype around that event, held later examination showed that significant harm neither the nature nor the population caused was not. Almost all of the pipelines operating today in Russia, ammonia pipeline Tolyatti — Odessa is the safest and manouvering. Mentioned accident is the only such case in 30 years of its operation. Such a result runs a set of actions taken by the operator of the ammonia: pressure in it around the clock control special devices, the ammonia pipeline is laid underground, at a depth of 1.4 meters, it track reinforced steel casings, and every 5 km there are ball valves, with which you can cut off any part. Over the situation on the pipeline is constantly monitored by inspectors, conducted helicopter patrols.

The situation with oil and oil pipelines on this background looks a little less rosy.

— The breaks of pipeline and the resulting environmental pollution by oil products represent a serious environmental problem that has a negative impact on virtually all components of the affected communities. Of oil affects plants, animals, and fungi. Of course, leaks and other substances from industrial systems, as a rule, do not go to nature for the benefit, but the same ammonia, volatile and fast neytralizuya in the water gas, can be considered almost harmless fertilizer in comparison with oil pollution, to get rid of the consequences which is expensive and difficult, but completely is almost impossible, — said the associate Professor of the Department of veterinary sanitary inspection and biological safety MGUPP, doctor of biological Sciences Ivan Savinov.

— The problem of oil spills is a birthmark of the Russian oil industry, — said the head of energy program Greenpeace Russia Vladimir Chuprov. — According to the Minister of natural resources of Russia Sergey Donskoy, annually in the Russian river, soil, groundwater, Arctic ocean gets up to half a million tons of oil. This volume is about twice the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. And this is only the expert data, because today the oil companies and the Supervisory structure of Russia is fixed in 30 times fewer spills than about this report to oilers. That is why the country’s leadership is so concerned and beginning to react, because now the situation is out of control, oil companies avoid full financial responsibility and hide the spills, which in fact has become a scourge of the Russian economy. New measures that will be applied to violators of the environmental situation, preparing together with Greenpeace Russia — related proposals to tighten the law, the authorities have made our organization, — concluded Vladimir Chuprov.

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