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Update to major diesel fuel leak in Russian Arctic

8 June 2020

KEYWORDS
Reindeer & Caribou Russia Wildlife Oil and gas Communities

On May 29 damaged fuel tanks leaked into the Daldykan and Ambarnaya rivers in northern Russia. Diesel fuel evaporates within one to two weeks, but toxic components will remain behind contaminating the water and likely impacting fish stocks for decades to come. At this time, responders have not seen any dead birds or other wildlife.

Since the spill response was first organized there is an increase in capacity with more than 500 responders currently on the scene, as rescue workers from other Russian regions, as well as oil spill response specialists from oil and gas companies, join the clean-up. Responders are also fortunate to have an influx of equipment, including skimmers, allowing for effective clean-up. The European Space Agency (ESA) is also actively involved in the response providing daily images.

Alexei Knizhnikov, Head of the Program for the Business Environmental Responsibility at WWF-Russia says:

Starting from June 7, we receive radar images from space not once every 10-12 days, but almost every day. This is an extremely important and all-weather additional tool to control pollution of the water surface. We thank the European Space Agency and Roscosmos for such an intense shooting schedule.

Monitoring has not detected any significant pollution on the surface of Lake Pyasino.

For further information:

Leanne Clare | Sr. Manager Communications, Arctic Programme | lclare@wwfcanada.org