IRKUTSK, May 4 (Itar-Tass) — The damages from the oil spill in the Angara River reached about 500 million roubles, according to preliminary estimates of the Russian natural resource watchdog (Rosprirodnadzor), a source in the Rosprirodnadzor department in the Irkutsk Region told Itar-Tass on Friday.
On Friday, Rosprirodnadzor made public the first estimates of the diesel fuel, which was spilled in the river as a result of the illegal cut in the oil pipeline. This spilled fuel makes no less than 316.4 tonnes of oil products. This is a little higher than Irkutsk Regional Governor Dmitry Mezentsev assumed, as the latter made public the spill of 300 tonnes. The authorities earlier assumed that 44 tonnes of diesel fuel were spilled in the Angara River, though they said about only two tonnes in the first two days after the pollution.
“The polluting concentration exceeds the norm, which was set for water bodies of fishing importance, from 20 to 120 dozes depending from the remoteness of the source of pollution,” the source said. Later Rosprirodnadzor pledges to make more accurate estimates of the damages. The raid of the specialists on the river and the river bank will be continued until Sunday.
According to the estimates of damages after the May holidays the lawsuit will be prepared and passed to the court against the enterprises, which are involved in the ecological disaster, a source in the Baikal-Angara environmental protection prosecutor’s office told Itar-Tass. The prosecutor’s office believes that the Trans-Baikal integrated works of the Federal Agency of State Reserves should bear responsibility for the aftermaths of the ecological disaster under the law on industrial security, as the illegal cut in the oil pipeline was found at the enterprise. Prosecutor Alexei Kalinin did not rule out that that the co-defendant can also become the owner of the storm water collector that is the Usolekhimprom enterprise, through which the diesel fuel was spilling in the river for about two days.
The prosecutor’s office already ruled that the Usolekhimprom directorate violated the law. The Usolye-Sibirskoye mayor was reprimanded, because the masterminds of oil stealing occupied a neighbouring house.
The inquiry was launched against the Trans-Baikal integrated works on Thursday. The third criminal case was opened over the ecological disaster for negligence. The criminal cases were earlier opened for theft from the oil pipeline and the contamination of the waters and drinking water sources.
The police have exposed nine suspects, three of them were detained and are giving confessing testimony. “There were much more people involved in this crime and further investigation should prove it,” head of the regional police department Alexander Obukhov said.
The ecological disaster broke out on the Angara River on April 25. The diesel fuel, which flowed down the river, got in the Cheremkhovo water intake, which provides water supplies for the town Cheremkhovo, Svirsk and the settlement Mikhailovka. Over 77,500 people remained without water supplies for a week, and many of them without heating supplies. The state of emergency was lifted in the region on May 2, after the water intake was restored, but unboiled water can be used only for technical needs. The schools were opened, but they still work with fewer lessons, after the May holidays all kindergartens will begin working. The kindergartens could receive children in Svirsk already on Friday.