Russia’s Green Patrol and other Eco-groups Get Actively Involved in Norilsk Diesel Spill Cleanup

Industry: Environment

Norilsk, Russian Federation (PRUnderground) June 8th, 2020

Three major green NGO movements came together in response to the diesel tank leak in the Russian Far North, city of Norilsk. The three groups, who are very active on the ground, Green Alliance, Green Patrol, and Russia’s Green confirmed that thawing of the permafrost, a recent occurrence tied to the global warming, is the likely culprit of the accident, as a result of which a large emergency fuel reservoir has been damaged and some 20 thousand tons of diesel fuel spilled at a local thermal power plant. The fuel covered the adjacent grounds and spilled over to a nearby river Ambarnaya.

Experts estimate that about half of the spill made its way into the river system, while the rest remained in the grounds nearby or evaporated. They indicated that the strong smell of diesel in the area is a positive factor, as evaporation is the safest way to decontaminate the environment in this case: vapors break down faster than they can reach any of the population nearby. “Diesel evaporates, breaks down in the atmosphere helped by the sun and wind. Yes, the smell here is unpleasant now, but there is no life-destroying catastrophe. It may vanish quite quickly.” – said Roman Pukalov, Director of environmental programs at the Russia-wide NGO Green Patrol.

Federal emergency and rescue authorities reported that the spill has been localized and the removal and decontamination effort is underway and runs 24 hours per day. There were at least 7 floating booms deployed and about 60 tons of diesel is currently removed from the water daily, reported the Green Alliance.

“We are dealing successfully with natural obstacles, such as shortage of storage containers required for this massive collection effort, and the lack of means of transportation of the collected fuel to Norilsk for its further utilization. We now want to express our gratitude to our environmental organizations who gathered hundreds of volunteers shortly after the Emergency situation has been declared. While our work is well underway, we welcome any novel ideas as to the most efficient and safe methods of clearing a body of water from the diesel fuel in the speediest and safest fashion.” – said the statement by the three green activist groups in Norilsk.

The visual analysis, derived from daily flyovers and satellites confirms that diesel product is locked in the waters of Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers, and there is no pollution on lake Pyasino, which means that the traditional fishing areas of local indigenous populations remain intact.

Тhe conclusion that permafrost thawing is the cause of the incident in Norilsk is supported by this season’s unusually high temperatures in the Russian Far North, which may have caused another recent infrastructure failure in the region: a railway bridge collapse a week ago near the city of Murmansk.

About Green Patrol Russia

The national public organization Green Patrol, over its 15-year history in Russia, is relentlessly protecting Russia’s environmental and strategic interests and provides expert support in the field of ecology, environmental protection, and sustainability during the implementation of the country’s largest projects. Green Patrol is a national NGO, founded by the local scientists, activists, and those who care about saving the environment. While we are open for collaboration with anyone concerned, we continue to appreciate and rely on our support from domestic sources.

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