MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch may include into final recommendations of the Great Norilsk Expedition a suggestion to change cleanup levels for petroleum hydrocarbons in soil, the leader of the expedition’s field stage Nikolai Yurkevich of the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics told TASS.
“The Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch is likely to suggest reviewing the current cleanup levels for petroleum hydrocarbons in soil,” he said. “In my opinion, the suggestion will be included into the expedition’s final recommendations. The cleanup levels should be changed, if not at the federal level, then, at least, at regional levels, so that businesses could specify the levels for themselves.”
According to the scientist, the current levels are, first of all, too high, and besides, they have been set for the entire territory of the former Soviet Union – from Tajikistan to the Far North.
“This is not correct, since soils differ,” he explained. “For example, the concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in the sand must be minimal, while in chernozem they, naturally, are higher. Setting background levels is a separate task for every region. For example, the Norilsk Industrial District is known for outcomes of ore rocks, and thus the background levels of heavy metals there would be higher than in West Siberia.”
Expedition to Taimyr
The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has sent to the Taimyr Peninsula, at the invitation of Nornickel, a big scientific expedition to conduct a large-scale examination of the area. Scientists will use the expedition’s results to present suggestions for industrial companies, working in the Arctic, on how to preserve the nature.
The expedition’s key points were watersheds of the Rivers Pyasina, Norilka and Ambarnaya, and Lake Pyasino. In August, experts from 14 research institutes of the Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch collected samples of soils, plants and sediments. Presently, they continue tests at the institutes’ labs.