Locals forced to picket

28 September 2009 (08:43)

The dwellers of Sverdlovsk Region-based Altynai and Reftinskiy settlements plan to carry out a picket in the center of Yekaterinburg on September 25, 2009. The reason for the picketing is the enormous environmental degradation caused by Reftinskaya state district power plant’s performance. By taking this direct action, the villagers are hoping to attract Sverdlovsk Region Governor’s attention.

‘There are a lot of questions we’d like to ask the plant’s management. For one, after the locals had protested against the introduction of the dangerous dry ash handling system, the management organized some illegitimate public hearings in Sukhoi Log as quickly as they possibly could. We intend to appeal against the decisions taken in the course of these hearings,’ says one of the picket coordinators and Chair of Reftinskiy Environmental Safety Center Olga Tkalich.

‘We tried asking the plant’s top executives to sign a cooperation agreement aimed at protecting the local dwellers’ interests. However, all the talks broke down at some point, and the company stopped communicating with the public. This picket is our weapon of last resort which we have been forced to employ after we got nothing but high-and-mighty kind of attitude from the power plant’s proprietors,’ she explains.

Some members of the local environmental groups are also going to take part in the picket. The city council has been notified of the event.

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