Enviromental issues in Russia

Russia is the biggest country and has the most natural resources in the world (oil, gas, timber, metals).  At the same time, it is one of the most polluted areas on our planet.  Environmental problems include deforestation, air and water pollution, soil contamination, etc.

Russian economy depends a lot on oil, gas and metals exports that is why government does not care about ecological consequences of natural resources exploration and prefers getting money without thinking about the future.

I would like to give an example that shows how serious is the environmental issue in Russia now and how unresponsible is our government!

I live in Saint Petersburg that is the second largest Russian city and just near it is located an enormous landfill called “Krasny bor”.  It is one of the largest dump for dangerous industrial waste in Russia and contains about 2 million tons of toxic waste in open air spaces.  The level of those pools has already risen a lot while the snow melts in spring and in some cases the pools even overflowed! Why is it dangerous? Because the toxic waste can reach the underground waters and nearby streams. After that it will mix with rainwater and appear in citizens taps.

Even though government promised to close this landfill and make the operators of Krasny bor to repair waste- storage container, nothing is changing now. The environmental situation in Saint Petersburg is awful; the residents suffer from bad quality water that provokes allergy and other diseases. Last summer I saw an acid rain for the first time in my life. I think it is time to act now and stop to ignore the problem.  The Saint Petersburg authorities always say that the situation is not crucial and ignore any possibility for leakage, but from my point of view it’s a huge ecological time bomb that will explode soon and we won’t be able to deal with its consequences!

To sum up, I should say that there are a lot of environmental issues in Russia and nobody wants to think about it and prevent the contamination. We don’t have any waste recycling systems and we don’t even sort the rubbish. Huge landfills are everywhere that pollute air and water. We cut over and sell our forests just to get profit without thinking about animals that lose their habitat. I am sure that its time to develop environmental laws in order to protect the nature and prevent climate changing!

 

Irina Startseva

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