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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Major diesel fuel leak in Russian Arctic threatens vulnerable rivers, lakes, wildlife and Indigenous Peoples
President Vladimir Putin declared a national state of emergency today after 20,000 cubic meters of diesel fuel spilled into the Daldykan and Ambarnaya rivers in northern Russia this past weekend.
Not long ago, bowhead whales in the Barents Sea, between the Norwegian and Russian Arctic, were thought to be extinct because of whaling activities. But scientists discovered that a small number of bowheads still live in a biologically rich area known as the marginal ice zone. Despite prices for crude oil dipping into historic lows, this group of critically endangered whales faces a new threat as the Norwegian parliament decides in the coming weeks whether to expand oil drilling into the globally significant marginal ice zone.