In the Komi Republic, environmentalists organized an expedition to assess the consequences of the oil spill on the Kolva River, which occurred in May 2021 due to the fault of a subsidiary of Lukoil. They sailed on a boat along the neighboring rivers Usa and Pechora, took water samples and found significant oil pollution almost 400 km from the accident site, informs “7×7” with reference to Ivan Ivanov, chairman of the Pechora Rescue Committee.
From August 11 to August 16, ecologists sailed about 300 km by boat from the village of Parma near Usinsk to the village of Shchelyayur in the Izhma region. They found vegetation on the banks of rivers near several settlements contaminated with a dark brown oily liquid with the smell of oil, as well as clots of possible oil on the soil. On the surface of one of the channels of the Pechora River, activists noticed a rainbow film up to 5 m wide.
Water samples taken in several places showed that the concentration of oil in it did not exceed the norm, but it was not equal to zero either. According to Ivanov, the concentration of manganese and copper is increased in the samples of river bottom sediments. The expedition members will transfer the analyzes to specialists for a more accurate analysis.
Local residents complained to environmentalists about the pungent smell from the oil spill, the kilometer-long pollution of the coastal zone of the Pechora River.
The farthest point, where the activists found significant traces of oil pollution, was the mouth of the Charkayu River. It is located 393 km from the site of the May accident.
The ecologists did not see any traces of cleaning the banks from pollution. However, the locals did not complain to the members of the expedition that the fish caught had an “oil” taste. According to them, during the spring floods, the rivers had a low water level and this saved local pastures and meadows from pollution.
The expedition members suggested that Rosprirodnadzor could reduce the amount of damage caused to nature by LUKOIL-Komi. After the accident, oil workers voluntarily paid more than 374 million rubles as compensation for the oil spill in the Kolva River, and later officials appreciated damage to the soil in 130 million rubles.
The oil spill at the Osh field of the LUKOIL-Komi company was discovered on May 11. Oil passed along the rivers Kolva, Usa and Pechora. City authorities of Usinsk introduced emergency mode.
LUKOIL announced a spill of 90 tons of oil, of which only nine allegedly got into the river. The Pechora Rescue Committee believes that the declared scale of the oil spill is underestimated. Rospotrebnadzor has estimated the damage to the environment at more than 300 million rubles. Journalists of “Novaya Gazeta” found outthat after the oil spill, the concentration of harmful substances in the Kolva River exceeded the norm by 500 times.
In June 2021, activists of the Pechora Rescue Committee conducted another expedition. During it, numerous traces of oil pollution were also found. Moreover, the work to clean up the territory was also carried out with gross violations. “The burning of oil sludge and oil washout into the Kolva River from the banks is used, which, in the opinion of the Pechora Rescue Committee, is illegal intentional pollution of atmospheric air and surface waters”, – emphasized ecologists.