Local dwellers protest against dry ash handling at power plant

Reftinskaya state district power plant (Enel OGK-5) conducted public hearings on the plant’s proposed ash handling system upgrade in the village of Reftinskiy, Sverdlovsk Region this January. The hearings were organized in accordance with the Environmental Examination Act 174 and the Provision on the impact an enterprise’s activity makes on the Russian Federation environment.


The plant claims the upgrade is actually expected to reduce the damage done by the ash dumps to nature. Environmentalists, however, are very skeptical about the project and insist that the introduction of a new system will result in deforestation and damage to all other kinds of vegetation within ten to fifteen kilometers of the site. What is more, they believe the operation of the system will be detrimental to the local dwellers’ health.


According to Chairman of the International Socio-Environmental Union’s Sverdlovsk Region division Vladimir Terekhov, over a hundred local citizens attended the hearings, and not a single person supported or approved of the dry ash handling project.


‘When a state environmental examination is carried out, a presumption of potential environmental hazard of any activity is applied, so Reftinskaya state district power plant is supposed to prove it to the locals that their project is safe. However, the papers they presented at the hearings looked unconvincing even to non-experts,’ Terekhov said.


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