Prosecutor General’s Office to monitor Arctic environment
© RIA Novosti. Alexey Kudenko

Prosecutor General’s Office to monitor Arctic environment

The Prosecutor General's Office of Russia has declared monitoring the Arctic environment as one of its priorities. According to the TASS news agency, the Prosecutor General has sent letters with the relevant instructions to prosecutors in charge of the Arctic regions.

"Prosecutors of regions in the Russian Arctic zone have been instructed to prioritize environmental compliance monitoring in the Arctic," Alexander Kurennoi, the spokesperson for the Prosecutor General's Office, told TASS. He said inspections revealed numerous violations. Over two years, prosecutors recorded about 7,000 violations in the Arctic zone. As a result, 590 lawsuits have been filed, 922 persons have received administrative penalties and 26 criminal cases have been opened on the prosecutors' requests.

Prosecutors will put under special control the activities of the regulatory agencies — the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, the Federal Agency for Fishery, the Federal Agency for Management of Mineral Resources and the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.

The Prosecutor General's Office found that the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources failed to properly organize environmental monitoring. "Rather often the environmental situation is not taken into account during checks. The amount of outstanding payments for negative environmental impact in the Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions and the Nenets Autonomous Area has exceeded 4 billion rubles. In addition to that, the Murmansk Region Directorate of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources during inspections did not assess the legality of the activities of waste disposal facilities used by major subsoil developers, including the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (Kola< MMC), Olcon, Apatit and Kovdor Mining-and-Processing Integrated Works," said Kurennoi.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office spokesperson, numerous violations have also been committed by local authorities in their monitoring of waste disposal. This results in an increase of unauthorized dump sites.