Investigative Committee opened a new criminal case after Norilsk Nickel dumping industrial wastewater into the tundra
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Investigative Committee opened a new criminal case after Norilsk Nickel dumping industrial wastewater into the tundra

1 July, 14:01SocietyPhoto: Новая Газета
A criminal case was opened in Norilsk in connection with the discharge into the tundra on June 28 of industrial waste from the Talnakh enrichment plant owned by Nornickel.

According to Novaya Gazeta, the case was instituted on the basis of a violation of environmental protection rules (Article 246 of the Criminal Code) "during the operation of an industrial facility - a tailing dump for the disposal of production waste from the Talnakh enrichment plant".

Norilsk investigators requested Novaya Gazeta photo and video materials of the investigation of the newspaper’s journalists.

On June 28, Novaya Gazeta correspondents learned about the discharge of the factory’s industrial waste into the Kharaelakh river, with their further discharge into Lake Pyasino, when they were investigating the consequences of a large-scale environmental disaster after a spill of oil products at TPP-3 that happened a month earlier in the area of the state of emergency. The publication, together with the Russian branch of Greenpeace, reported that a waste leak occurred in the technological zone of the Talnakh concentration plant during an attempt to pump fluid from the tailing dump into the tundra.

The water that drained was contaminated with heavy metals, sulphurous acid, and surfactants. Poisonous liquid drained into the Kharaelakh River, which flows into Lake Pyasino. After the publication reported, the security service of Nornickel, which arrived at the scene of the emergency, turned off the pumping station and dismantled the pipes. The company acknowledged the discharge of process fluid and removed employees responsible for the violation from work. Norilsk Nickel reported that water leakage across the boundary of the plant’s sump could have occurred during a pipeline test or because of a downpour. It was decided to lower the water level by pumping the excess into the tundra.

TFR in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Khakassia on the same day began a preliminary investigation at the Norilsk Nickel facility.

On May 29, a major accident occurred at CHPP-3, owned by the Norilsk-Taimyr energy company, which is part of the Norilsk Nickel. The country's leadership found out about this only a few days later. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed indignation that information had to be obtained from social networks. The accident, which led to the ingress of diesel fuel into local rivers, was declared an emergency on a federal scale. The leadership of the CHP was detained, several criminal cases were instituted. After the accident, oil products penetrated the soil by at least 2-5 cm, as well as into Lake Pyasino. Greenpeace estimated the damage to the region’s ecology at 100 billion rubles. According to experts, the complete elimination of the consequences of the disaster will take at least 10 years.

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