Wildlife and environment
Critical pollution reported in 15% of Russian Arctic regions
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

Critical pollution reported in 15% of Russian Arctic regions

A critical level of pollution has been reported in 15 percent of Russian Arctic regions, RIA Novosti writes, citing Anatoly Palamarchuk, head of the federal legislation oversight department at the Prosecutor General's Office.

"A critical level of pollution has been reported in 15 percent of the Arctic zone. About 1,000 citations have been issued and 684 criminal cases initiated following the prosecutor's reviews of waste disposal conducted in 2015, which revealed about 5,200 violations. Over 1,200 individuals have been held liable," Anatoly Palamarchuk said at a conference on the oversight of nature protection and mineral resource legislation in the Russian Arctic zone.

Water and soil pollution with waste and oil spills threatens over 26,000 types of plants and animals in the Arctic.

Palamarchuk said that prosecutor's inspections reveal numerous violations despite close oversight by federal agencies, including law enforcement agencies. These violations have been reported in many areas such as subsoil use and accompanying projects, land use and soil reclamation, waste disposal and the clearing of landfill sites, including Soviet-era industrial landfill sites.

Anatoly Palamarchuk has proposed additional enforcement, in particular, from the strengthening of prosecutor and law enforcement oversight of corporate operations in the Arctic to amending administrative offences legislation to toughen the liability for environmental crime.