Wildlife and environment
Draft law to ban waste burial in the Arctic submitted to parliament
© RIA Novosti. Natalia Seliverstova

Draft law to ban waste burial in the Arctic submitted to parliament

A bill that would prohibit the burying of waste in the Arctic has been forwarded to the State Duma, RIA Novosti reports. The draft was proposed by MP Vladimir Sysoyev from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.

"The law would prohibit burying waste in the Arctic region as the first step towards creating a legal framework for protecting the Arctic environment," says a note to the bill.

According to supplemental documentation, the national strategy for Arctic development and national security to 2020 provides, in part, for developing an efficient industrial and household waste removal strategy in the Arctic, waste recycling, and a limit on product packaging that is not recyclable or not allowed for economic or technical reasons.

Meanwhile, the Arctic environment is deteriorating, Sysoyev writes. "Mining companies often violate environmental protection legislation. The biggest threat to the environment comes from the industrial production of mineral resources, and these threats are further compounded by waste disposal problems," the MP writes.

Sysoyev further writes about the huge amount of waste in the Arctic, including the abandoned drilling wells from the first exploration phase of the Extreme North. "The waste from industrial development includes abandoned vehicles, drills and other equipment. Our plans must include waste removal and land reclamation," he writes.

The MP pointed out that the mitigation of this issue is currently hindered by the absence of effective federal legal tools. "A ban on waste burial in Russia's Arctic regions could stop the accumulation of waste and reduce the negative impact on the environment," he said.