A new report from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) sums up the measurements done over the last year. The report is sad reading for the environment in the borderland. Sør-Varanger municipality has the highest measured concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in all of Norway.
Also, measurements of heavy metals in the air and precipitations show increased concentrations of trace metals like nickel, arsenic, copper and cobalt from the factory in Nikel.
The pollution from Nikel has for decades been a black torn in the generally good relations between the two neighboring nations.
Measurements in Karpdalen near Norway’s border to Russia for calendar year 2011 show 51 hourly concentrations over 350 micrograms per cubic meter, where the EU and Norwegian legal limit of only 24 exceedences was violated. There were seven daily SO2 averages measured over 125 micrograms per cubic meter. Only three such exceedences are allowed, meaning that Norilsk-Nickel is breaking EU and Norwegian legal limits with their cross-border pollution.
NILU’s samples from Svanvik in the Pasvik vally show the highest precipitation values for heavy metals among all sample stations in entire Norway. Most worrying, trace metals in precipitation increased from summer 2010 to summer 2011, reads the report.
Heavy metals in precipitation started to rise in 2004, and counting.
The highest hourly average of SO measured in the period was at Svanvik with 858 micrograms per cubic meter.
Norilsk-Nickel’s posted a net profit of 81 billion rubles (€2,01 billion) for the period January to September 2012, according to Ros Business Consulting.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.