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Suspension of the operations of a copper-smelting plant is a powerful signal to environment polluters

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Deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin (the YABLOKO faction) stated that he was satisfied with the decision of the supreme state inspector for control over natural resources of the Ural Federal district Nikolai Krupinin who issued a warrant to suspend the operations of the Krabash Copper-Smelting Plant from June 27, 2003.

Mitrokin said: "Recently a special commission of the Department of the State Control of the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Ural Federal District has been working in the Krabash city at my request. The commission investigated the causes of an accident on June 23, 2003. A mass-scale scrapping of pollutants substances took place on that day, eliminating vegetation in a significant part of the city. In addition the city recorded numerous complaints from residents on deterioration in the state of their health. I duly notified the Department of the State Control of the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Ural Federal District and asked them to examine the case. Proceeding from the results of this review a decision was taken to suspend the operations of the copper-smelting plant which was recognised as guilty for the pollution."

Mitrokhin also recollected that since 1998, when production at the Karabash Copper-Smelting Plant was resumed, the plant has regularly polluted the environment. Consequently, vegetation in the city and agricultural plants in the suburbs were eliminated several times [due to pollution]. Morbidity and the mortality rate in the Karabash city exceed not only average indices in the region, but also the controlling figures set for the territories of Chelyabinsk region subject to radioactive contamination. "Despite regular public demands and demands from the Ministry of Natural Resources to stop the discards, the plant has systematically violated its obligations regarding the timetable for the construction and commissioning of rectified structures," recollected Mitrokhin. “Criminal proceedings on violations of environmental legislation have been launched."

Mitrokhin also stated that the "decision to suspend "super-pollution" production was unprecedented for post-Soviet Russia; it should serve as a serious signal to enterprises polluting the environment and violating Russian environmental legislation."

At the same time Mitrokhin thinks hat the adopted decision provides the copper-smelting plant with a unique opportunity to modernize production and complete the construction of the rectified complex by involving in this work specialists and workers to be released, while maintaining their wages.

See also:

YABLOKO for Environmental Safety

Press Release, May 27, 2003. Deputy Mitrokhin manages to make the law-enforcement agencies initiate criminal proceedings for environmental pollution
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