The vessel that dumped waste in the Avacha Gulf near the southeast coast of Kamchatka Peninsula on September 23 was detected thanks to satellite images. This was reported by the governor of the Kamchatka region (KK) Vladimir Solodov, whose words are given on the site of the KK on Saturday, October 10.
At the same time, according to Solodov, “it is unlikely that it was involved in the situation that took place at Khalaktyrsky beach and other coastal territories”. The governor stressed that the volume of discharged water is “very insignificant and, of course, it could not lead to the effect observed throughout the water area”. The head of Kamchatka added that the data have already been transferred to law enforcement agencies and the perpetrators will be prosecuted, but he did not name either the type of vessel or its owners.
Greenpeace: Sample analysis is slow
Earlier, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources Management (Rosprirodnadzor) provided extended results of water samples, particularly in the area of Khalaktyrsky Beach. The results of their analysis revealed an excess of phosphate-ion by 10.8 times, iron by 6.7 times and phenol by 2.9 times.
Vladimir Chuprov, Project Director of Greenpeace international NGO in Russia, in his turn, expressed the opinion that the results obtained are not sufficient to establish a complete picture of what happened. “For some elements, such as heavy metals, the analysis is still in progress. Critical results are still missing: laboratory analysis of tissues and organs of deceased animals. In addition, the materials collected were not tested for pesticides,” he said. Chuprov added that the organization is waiting for the results of water samples, as well as tests of dead animals collected by residents of the peninsula and Greenpeace employees. “The way materials from Kamchatka are slowly being sampled and analyzed worries everyone,” he said.
The Russian Constitutional Court has initiated two criminal cases
On October 7 the Investigative Committee (IC) of Russia instituted two criminal proceedings under part 2 of article 247 and part 2 of article 252 of the Criminal Code (violation of rules of handling environmentally hazardous substances and wastes and pollution of marine environment). The Investigative Committee intends to check all possible sources of water pollution. Studies of coastal water samples indicate the presence of a contaminant in sea water that is close in consistency to technical oil or other oil-containing substance, said a representative of the agency.
According to Ivan Usatov, a researcher at the Pacific Institute of Geography, the pollution has already killed 95 percent of organisms living on the bottom of the Avacha Bay.
Local surfers also reported water changes in the Pacific Ocean near the Kamchatka coast. They complained about symptoms of poisoning after bathing and problems with eyes. Members of the Russian surfing team Maya Rudik and Dmitry Ilyasov, who received chemical burns on the cornea of the eyes, applied to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and demanded to be recognized as victims.