Russia : fuel spills in the Northern Dvina River of Arkhangelsk port

Russia’s environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor representative dealing with the fuel spill in Arkhangelsk. (Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

The slick is 4 km long and 500 meters wide, local authorities report. The Northern Dvina River flows into the Arctic White Sea through the Russian city of Arkhangelsk.

“It has been determined that the oil products got into the river while filling of “Kasimov” ship, – Head of Russia’s environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor Svetlana Radionova writes in her telegram app  – We are detecting the size of the pollution and taking probes to calculate the scale of the environmental harm”.

The watchdog has also published photos and videos of its specialists working on the case. The spill is classified as “significant” by the authorities.

“According to the preliminary data, the amount of the spill is around 200 liters,” deputy of the Arkhangelsk transport prosecutor Boris Tekeyev said.

Eco-activist from Arkhangelsk Andrey Vatspan shared photos and videos, with a clearly visible typical rainbow-colored fuel spill in the waters of the Krasnaya pier in Arkhangelsk city. He made the shots yesterday, on the evening of Wednesday, July 26.

“The consequences haven’t been dealt with for too long, – Andrey told The Barents Observer on the phone, – The spill happened yesterday morning (July 26), but the (authorities) only started liquidating the slick today (July 27). Now the spill is not monolith anymore, it has been divided into many smaller spills – that makes it now much more difficult to monitor and liquidate”.

Andrey added that he hasn’t seen any dead birds or fish in Arkhangelsk yet, but he says that the consequences of the fuel pollution might be visible later and he would be monitoring the situation.

The ship “Kasimov”, which filling resulted in the spill, belongs to the Russian company called “Bunkernaya company”. The company transports fuel to the Russian Arctic regions. Journalists of the Russian news website managed to get hold of the company’s representative Alexey Kosov:

“That was kind of just a small spill, – he told journalists. –  Some sort of not a serious one. I wouldn’t call it a spill, just a leak. It has been liquidated already. All is according to the law. We are investigating the causes.”

According to the local authorities, a containment boom – temporary floating barriers – is being installed now in the Arkhangelsk port area to stop the spread of the spill. Though local Arkhangelsk residents told The Barents Observer today that they haven’t seen any barriers yet.

By Elizaveta Vereykina, The Independent Barents Observer 

Related Links:

Canada:  Polluters to face greater liability for offshore drilling spills says Canada, CBC News

United States:  ConocoPhillips will pay Alaska $312,000 after North Slope oil, Alaska Dispatch

The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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