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Baikal ecological situation stabilizes after paper plant closure

August 04, 14:18 UTC+3 TANKHOI VILLAGE

Efforts to clean the accumulated environmental damage, effective waste disposal and reduction of the lake’s pollution by sewage are of utmost importance these days

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© Evgeniy Yepanchintsev/TASS

TANKHOI VILLAGE /Republic of Buryaria/, August 4. /TASS/. The environmental situation in the Lake Baikal area has stabilized after the closure of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant, Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy said on Friday.

"The figures have stabilized. Specifically, atmospheric emissions in the Baikal nature area have decreased by 15% over the past four years, in the central environmental area - more than twice. Wastewater discharges into the lake decreased by 80%," Donskoy told a meeting on the environmental development of the area in Buryatia’s village of Tankhoi chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The minister noted though that there are some problems related to the contamination of the housing and utilities infrastructure with solid and liquid household waste. "The accumulated environmental damage, including the industrial site of the Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant, continue to be problematic," he noted.

According to Donskoy, efforts to clean the accumulated environmental damage, effective waste disposal and reduction of the lake’s pollution by sewage are the priority areas today.

The Baikal Pulp and Paper Plant was commissioned in 1966. The decision on its stage-by-stage closure was officially announced in February 2013, and its pulping process ended in September 2013.

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