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36 coal mines in occupied Donbas completely or partially flooded – expert

Coal News - Published on Wed, 06 Dec 2017

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Economics reported that about 36 mines are being flooded in the region, because of the interruption or termination of power supplies, destruction of infrastructure, hindered operation of pumping equipment, etc. Mr Averin while presenting a joint environmental assessment conducted by the OSCE and Ukraine's Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, related to the environmental impact of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

According to the expert, the current state of some mines poses a particular danger. This refers to Oleksandr-Zahid mine, Vuhlehirska mine, Horlivka-based Kalinin mine, as well as Yuny Komunar mine, where an underground nuclear explosion was carried out in 1979.

Mr Averin said that the flooding of mines could affect the state of groundwater across Donetsk and Luhansk regions and beyond. Moreover, further flooding may affect the level of an underground water basin, cause subsidence, which can lead to the destruction of industrial and infrastructure facilities, as well as of gas and water pipelines.

In addition, about 500 malfunctions were registered at 170 enterprises in Donetsk and Luhansk regions from 2014 to 2017, some of which associated with a potential danger to the population and the environment.

During field research, a significant contamination with non radioactive strontium and barium was recorded in bottom sediments of Karlovske and Kleban-Bykske reservoirs, compared with the 2008 data.

Excess concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus were also recorded in the Kalmius, Kalchik, and Siverskyi Donets rivers.

The expert added that "We have noted the systemic excess of mercury, vanadium, cadmium, non-radioactive strontium, and gamma radiation. They exceeded the background [parameters] by 1.2-2 times at the control points affected amid the fighting. There was a 116-fold excess of strontium in some areas, for example, on Mount Karachun."

In his words, about 60 facilities of the nature reserve fund have been affected due to Donbas hostilities.

Mr Averin also noted the difficult situation with solid domestic waste. From the start of the Russian aggression, broken military equipment and destroyed buildings have added up to the problem. Their utilization requires additional capacities and remains impossible without demining the area and removing UXOs.

In turn, Ukraine's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mr Ostap Semerak said that the government would look into the recommendations presented in the study.

Mr Semerak said said "The study conducted in Donetsk and Luhansk regions under the auspices of the OSCE on the appeal of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry has been presented today. Ukrainian and international experts were involved in the research as well. They collected and systematized data on the environmental and technogenic situation. They also prepared recommendations that would be used by the Ukrainian government and local authorities to monitor, control and implement measures more effectively in order to minimize the negative [environmental] impact."

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 06 Dec 2017
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