MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. The probe at the central heating and power plant in Norilsk where an oil spill occurred will be completed June 26, head of Russia’s environment protection watchdog Svetlana Radionova said Friday.
"We are currently probing [the situation] and an unscheduled check of the facilities is conducted. On [June] 26, we will complete the probe, upon its results we will make a decision, review the company’s actions and calculate the damage inflicted on the environment," she said as a video conference meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and ecologists and animal right activists.
According to her, the damage can account to billions of rubles. "We intend to strictly regulate the actions to bring everything back to a state it should be," Radionova noted.
Over 21,000 cubic meters of petroleum products spilled at the Thermal Power Plant No. 3 of the Norilsk and Taimyr Energy Company (part of the metals giant Norilsk Nickel) on May 29 after the concrete foundation of a fuel storage tank sank, causing the fuel facility’s collapse. The fuel spilled into the ground on an area of 180,000 square meters and also in local rivers, contaminating the territory and causing damage to the environment.
Radionova said on June 3 that the maximum permissible concentrations of contaminants in the water bodies in Norilsk were exceeded by several dozen thousand times.
About 6,000 tonnes of petroleum products leaked into the soil and about 15,000 tonnes into local rivers, she specified. Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the decision to introduce a federal state of emergency in Norilsk.