• 2017 March 3

    Andrei Karpov, Council Chair, Regional Department of Greenparty

    On possible compromise between ecology and business through application of tougher laws and upgraded technologies

    - As we see, coal dust pollution in Nakhodka is a problem actively addressed by the authorities today, especially after the citizens’ protest campaign. Nakhodka population is concerned about the ecological situation at facilities involved in coal transshipment because of their location in close vicinity to the social infrastructure of the city. Rosprirodnadzor and Transport Prosecutor’s Office are currently inspecting coal terminals at the Astafyev cape. The results are not ready yet but the data available say that the level of contamination in the area of Astafyev Terminal activities is twice as high as the permissible limit. We have succeeded in involvement of independent ecologists to ensure unbiased findings of contamination level measurements. We expect that following the inspection the stevedore will either correct the violations or will stop the production process as we heard from the authorities. 

    I think there are several aspects that caused the situation. Unfortunately, we still do not have clear methods to evaluate the damage caused by coal dust to air and water at sea terminals. The methods available today … do not take into consideration the accumulation of coal dust and hazardous substances. Besides, there are no methods of legal evaluation when it comes to the impact of such contamination on the environment and the health of people … Legal responsibility of stevedores under the current legislation is strikingly nonproportional with the ecological risks. On the one hand, there are millions of tons of coal; on the other hand - pennyworth fines. Evidently, tougher legislation is needed here with more economically adequate system of liabilities for risks. 

    In my opinion, environmentally intensive technologies applied in civilized world are an optimal solution for the Primorye where port industry makes the core of the economy and determines the development of the region. Dedicated coal terminals can be referred to as perfect examples where production process causes minimum dusting there.

    If we use the worldwide practices, European or, let’s say, Japanese, I believe, scrupulous compliance with sanitary norms and application of adequate technologies will provide the region with the desired compromise: economical growth, transport development, jobs generation and comfortable eco-friendly environment.

    Non-dedicated terminals in Nakhodka located in close vicinity to residential areas have not achieved any significant reduction of negative impact on the environment.

    Comment contributed to IAA PortNews.

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