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Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region Kuzbass - Report

Coal News - Published on Tue, 19 Feb 2019

Image Source: The Guardian
The Guardian reported that residents of a coalmining region in Siberia have been posting videos online showing entire streets and districts covered in toxic black snow that critics say highlight a manmade ecological catastrophe. In one video, filmed in Kiselyovsk, a town in the Kuzbass region, a woman drives past mounds of coal-coloured snow stretching to the horizon, covering a children’s playground and the courtyards of residential buildings. The scenes in the footage were described as “post-apocalyptic” by Russian media. The coal dust that turns the snow black in the Kuzbass comes from numerous open pit mines that environmental activists say have had disastrous consequences for the health of the region’s 2.6 million people, with life expectancy three to four years lower than Russia’s national average of 66 for men and 77 for women.

Cancer, child cerebral palsy, and tuberculous rates in the Kuzbass region are all above the national average.

Mr Vladimir Slivyak, a member of the Ecodefense environmental group, said that “It’s harder to find white snow than black snow during the winter. There is a lot of coal dust in the air all the time. When snow falls, it just becomes visible. You can’t see it the rest of the year, but it is still there.”

Despite political tensions between Moscow and London, Russia is the leading supplier of British coal imports. Russian mines supplied around half of the 8.5m tons of coal shipped into Britain in 2017, with up to 90% of it coming from the Kuzbass region. Coal is used in Britain for a range of purposes, including the manufacture of cement and steel and in power stations, which the UK government is committed to phasing out by 2025.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 19 Feb 2019
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