Damage caused by pipeline accident at Asha Metallurgical Works currently dealt with

23 June 2006 (09:28)

Most of the dramatic outcomes of a black oil spill at the premises of Asha Metallurgical Works have by now been coped with, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Emergency Management in Chelyabinsk Region said to UrBC representative.

The emergency team completed the shoreline restoration of the River Sim yesterday. They collected some 27 tons of putrefied soil and restored over 8 kilometers of the shoreline.

On June 7, 2006, at least 10 tons of black oil spilled from the mazout line located at the plant. This environmentally hazardous substance penetrated the local rivers Teplushka and Sim and thus contaminated the areas of 100x2 meters and 10,000x30 meters.

Following the order of the regional public prosecutor Alexander Voitovich, the authorities are going to take legal action. This is going to result in a criminal lawsuit (the charge: violation of rules and regulations for keeping and maintenance of environmentally hazardous wastes and substances leading to environmental contamination, Clause 247 (Part 2) of Russian Criminal Code).

According to the spokesperson for the public prosecutor’s office, the plant management violated the federal legislation on Industrial Safety of Hazardous Production as of July 21, 1997 and The Regulations for Industrial Safety of Petroleum Storage Depots and Oil Terminals as of May 20, 2003.

The preliminary examination of the premises appears to have revealed that the company did not meet the environmental and industrial safety requirements, and neither did its oil terminals.

The environmental prosecution authorities and the public prosecution bodies of Asha allotted an ad hoc committee of inquiry; Mr Voitovich also personally supervises the investigation.

The punishment for the incriminated charge could mean up to five years in prison.

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