A criminal case has been started against Dmitry Antoniadi, the head of Rostekhnadzor for the Southern Federal District. The Prosecutor General’s office has found violations of the legislation dedicated to safety of dangerous industrial objects. The biggest concern is the Krasnodar territory where over 10 million tons of dangerous industrial waste is stored. The ecologists say that with Olympiad-2014 preparations done the load on the environment will be increasing and that may cause the ecological catastrophe to happen.
Vladimir Zhitlo’s family and three other families have to reside temporarily in a holiday hotel in Sochi due to destruction of their houses. The matter is that the former city dump, conserved many years ago, was renewed in the early 90’s. And now the soil is moving with the accumulated weight of waste.
A stinking black stream flows from the dump and falls into a local river of Kherota, which flows into the sea. Besides this dump there is another one. Each of the dumps is added next 6,000 cubic meters of poisonous matter daily.
“No ecological project is being realized in Sochi at the moment” considers Andrei Rudomakha, the head of Ecological Service for Northern Caucasus. “Local officials consider the nature as a source for getting profits. No profit, no interest shown.”
The rains wash the chemical substances away from the dumps into the sea. Sochi is featured with mountainous landscape, dense soil and 2,500 mm of precipitation a year. Valery Klindukhov, the head of Kuban Rospotrebnadzor, explains that acceptable concentration of organic substances is exceeded only in some places. However, the chair of the Ecological Council of Sochi Vladimir Ostapuk says that the level of seawater pollution is four times as big as can be accepted, at the Sochi beaches. And it’s not only dumps that are a great concern.
“Big Sochi consists of 79 resort villages and none of them is equipped with sewage facilities. That means, going out of a toilet you go to the beach and you swim in your own faeces”.
25,000 yards have no sewage in Sochi and the existing treatment facilities are outdated and need to be reconstructed. The price of the question if 1.5 bn rubles and no one is going to give this money.
However, the future Olympiad itself is considered by ecologists to be the greatest problem. Olga Kozinskaya, the chair of the Public Architectural Council of Sochi, has elaborated an ecological map where plots intended for Olympic building are marked with red, yellow or green color. 80% of the Big Sochi territory is marked with the red color meaning the area unacceptable for building.
“Olympic objects are planned to be constructed on the territory of the National Park. The goals of the Olympiad are in contradiction with ecological safety of the resort city” explains Mrs. Kozinskaya.
The map above was to be an ecological basis for the development plan for Sochi. However, instead of plan there is only a concept.
“When there is no official development plan, the distribution of land plots is regulated not with a document, but with an official’s will. Such a plan is needed by the city, but it is unprofitable for the authorities” believes Valery Suchkov, the expert of the Public Chamber of Sochi.
According to the law, it’s municipal, regional and federal executive bodies that are responsible for ecology. In 2008 the amount of 165 million rubles was allotted from the budget of Krasnodar territory for protection of the environment. But soon that money was called back. The Federal Purpose Program of development of Sochi as a resort intended financing the ecological projects for the amount of 1,040,000,000 rubles. However, the Program was canceled by the government at the end of last year. The new adopted program does not indicate any figures or terms at all.
Well, anyway no Sochi’s problem can be compared to that experienced by the resort city of Tuapse.
The rate of endocrinological diseases has increased with the factor of one and a half, and the oncological diseases with the factor of two and a half during last four years. Along with that, Yakonto Company proposes construction of a new bigger Black Sea port near Tuapse. The BazelCement Company has already bought 50 hectares of land for construction of a huge cement plant that is to make productions for the future Olympic facilities. The Eurokhim Company is building a terminal for transshipment of mineral fertilizers. The annual emissions are expected to be about 920 tons.
Business works easier when a unified center of taking decisions functions on the local level. No wonder that a referendum was held last December for amalgamation of Tuapse City and Tuapse district. Official reports put it that the citizens voted for it. However, Dina Khokhlova, the member of the district elective commission found out that the protocols did not add up with the official data. A local journalist Sergei Rozhkov, known for his publications also dedicated to ecological issues began his own investigation. Soon he was visited by six police officers at night. According to him, he was bashed, handcuffed and brought to the police station in the boot of a police car.
The Tuapse interior department denies this information. On the contrary, the Tuapse prosecutor’s office has started a criminal case on the journalist accusing him of violence towards the police officers.
“The local media do not show the true scale of ecological problems, as the authorities are afraid of it” says Evgeny Vitishko, the chair of Tuapse Public Ecological Council.
According to him, both Tuapse dumps have no drain system and project documentation, being located within 500 m nature conservation zone. The pollution of the seawater with zinc, strontium and oil products exceeds the norm for 71,000 times. The Tuapse Oil Processing Plant and oil base belonging to Rosneft are to be blamed for that. Viktor Efimenko, the senior inspector of the sea protection service stresses that the treatment facilities of the plant work only for half of the capacity. Besides, the plant has not reconstructed for years the system of pipes and wells intended for catching the oil products.
“We had oil emissions into the sea last March, November and this February” tells Viktor Efimenko. “I have passed repeatedly the materials to the prosecutor’s office in Tuapse, bit I failed to get the appropriate resolution”.
Ivan Shurygin, the former head of Tuapse’s oil base, says that it is planned to increase the transshipment and processing of the Tuapse oil from 15 million tons to 36 million tons per year.
“We must not increase the capacities” considers Mr. Shurygin. “There are only 300 kilometers of the resort zone in Russia. So let’s save it for the future generations! But it seems that business matters more than future.”