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Deputy Mitrokhin manages to make the law-enforcement agencies initiate criminal proceedings for environmental pollution

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Criminal proceedings in accordance with Article 246 of the Criminal Code of the RF (violation of environmental protection regulations at work) were started by the Chelyabinsk Prosecutor for Environmental Protection for "investigation of all the circumstances and reasons for environmental pollution in the city of Krabash ." This is a quote from the official answer of the Public Prosecutor of Chelyabinsk region Anatoli Bragin to an inquiry from deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin (the YABLOKO faction) sent to the Public Prosecutor General of the RF on March 24, 2003. The answer was received on May 23. 2003.In his letter Mitrokhin listed the violations of environmental protection laws by the Karabash Copper-smelting Plant. Mitrokhin demanded measures to stop the lawless activities of the plant that are inflicting serious damage on the health of the local population and the environment. "The area of the ecological disaster : amounts to 30 sq. km:," runs the text of the inquiry.- "The Sak-Elga river flowing into the Miass river represents a collector of sewage of the copper-smelting plant and sewage from the utilities sectorof Karabash city." Bragin informed deputy Mitrokhin that the department for state control and long-term development in the usage of natural resources and environmental protection in the Urals Federal District conducted in April 2003 an inspection regarding compliance with environmental protection laws at the "Karabashmed" plant. "It disclosed that the plant continues to let production waste waters flow into the Karabash pond, exceeding pollution indices," runs the letter of the Public Prosecutor. "Consequently on April 22, 2003, the Department brought a lawsuit against "Karabashmed" in the arbitration court of Chelyabinsk region demanding a suspension to the operations of the "Karabashmed", until the purification units are installed." In addition lawsuits pertaining to administrative liability were raised against three top officials of the plant for violation of environmental protection laws. "The inquiry to Public Prosecutor General was the result of a large amount of work," said Mitrokhin. - "At my request the Ministry of Natural Resources collected information provided in the inquiry. I am satisfied withthe answer of the Public Prosecutor, who on our initiative raised lawsuits against all those who violated the law." In addition Mitrokhin reiterated that the situation in Karaba
sh was subject to a review by the SupremeEnvironmentall Council of the State Duma, which recognized the situation in the city to be disastrous and considered it necessary to submit it to tough state control. The Council recommended that the Russian government, together with the administration of Chelyabinsk region and local authorities, draft proposals for inclusion in the federal programme for reduction of pollution, social support of the population and the ecological recovery of the city. "YABLOKO continues monitoring of the situation in Karabash," said Mitrokhin. - "We are going to completely stop pollution from the copper-smelting plant and conduct complex rehabilitation of the contaminated area."

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YABLOKO for Environmental Safety
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