Employees of Russian Federal Agency for Oversight of Natural Resource Usage in Komi refused to accept the evidence of Greenpeace on 34 cases of oil spills in the Usinsk district of Komi. In its response to the appeals of environmentalists, they wrote that they cross-checked the facts and evidence collected during the two-week expedition in August last year, and didn’t find confirmation of some of them. In turn, the experts of Greenpeace provided evidence again, justified it with photographs and asked to examine the alleged place of oil spills again in spring and summer. They insist that the collected evidences are accurate and clearly indicate violations of the laws. The correspondent of «7x7» read and analyzed the correspondence of environmentalists and government officials.
Let us recall that in August last year "Greenpeace Russia" held an expedition "Oil patrol" in the town of Parma under Usinsk. In two weeks, activists found numerous places of pollution of soil and water by oil and formation water, including 21 spills that occurred since the beginning of 2014. Altogether, there were 205 spills in the area of Usinskoye, Vozeyskoye and Kharyaginskoye fields.
The most common causes of pollution: depressurization of pipelines (148 cases), uncleaned storage of sludge (20 cases), discharge of sludge (11 cases), industrial waste (16 cases). Activists have also found cases of toxic formation waters and flowing wells.
Employees of "Greenpeace Russia" transferred an appeal with a detailed description of each violation, its geographic coordinates, with reference to the terrain, and photographs to the management of Rosprirodnadzor in Komi.
“They refused to consider the data of 34 points, even though we had 100 percent proof that there was contamination. And also photos. And it turned out that there was nothing found,” expert of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) of the "Greenpeace Russia" Vasily Yablokov said.
It should be noted that research of the alleged points of pollution was made not by the employees of regional management of Rosprirodnadzor, but experts of TMF "LUKOIL-Usinskneftegaz". They didn’t find contamination in these 34 places. Greenpeace asked to comment on it.
“It is also unclear for us why for a number of sites (34 sites without petropollution), instead of the Rosprirodnadzor checks, response was referenced to the information of specialists of "Lukoil-Usinskneftegaz " on the absence of contamination,” was said in a letter of environmentalists.
Another 34 sites, according to the supervisory authority, were cleared by the employees of "LUKOIL-Komi" and "LUKOIL-Usinskneftegaz". And 89 (15 sites with household waste and 74 sites with ingress of oil on the ground) are planned to be cleaned up in 2015. A year later, the company "LUKOIL-Komi" intends to reclaim another 28 oil spills.
Besides, in its reply Rosprirodnadzor pointed out that experts of Greenpeace gave wrong coordinates. Vasily Yablokov in his second letter to the supervisory authority said that it was workers of Rosprirodnadzor who made a mistake during verification. Sometimes the inaccuracy was only 1 degree north latitude, which is more than 110 km.
Moreover, the officials said that 13 sites with industrial waste and small pollution are outside the boundaries of the "LUKOIL-Komi" land use. Employees of Greenpeace reminded that Rosprirodnadzor is required to correct violations of the law, regardless of who made it, and brought evidence that areas are still used by the oil company once again.
“We believe it is necessary to clarify that the aim of Greenpeace is to inform the competent authorities about the places of oil pollution, industrial waste dumps and other violations in the Komi Republic, regardless of being on someone else's license areas. However, according to official data of the distributed subsoil fund of the Republic of Komi (hydrocarbon feedstock) of geoportal (http://gis.rkomi.ru/), data of 13 sites is located within the boundaries of land use of LLC "LUKOIL-Komi",” Vasily Yablokov noted in a letter.
As a result, Greenpeace asked to recheck some data and report the results.
"Based on the above, please:
1. Report on the basis of what regulations Rosprirodnadzor refers to the "relevant experts" of “Lukoil-Usinskneftegaz” instead of checking of reports of pollution.
2. Retest 36 sites in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this letter (Appendix №2) in the snow-free period in 2015, on 34 of which "dedicated experts of "Lukoil-Usinskneftegaz" found no oil pollution" and report the results of testing.
3. Report on a stage of technical remediation and environmental conditions on 117 sites listed in the letter of Rosprirodnadzor of the Komi Republic № 04-09/5483 from 30.10.2014.
4. Report on the possibility of the presence of experts of Greenpeace on transfer of 74 sites "of municipal and regional commissions" for acceptance of the land in 2015 and 28 sites in 2016".
Maxim Polyakov, «7x7»