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Oil polluters trouble regional authorities

Late information about spills remains a major problem in the Nenets tundra.

Oil companies concealing spills should be deprived their licenses, a government council in the Komi Republic argues.

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Companies, which do not inform about oil spills, must be put to justice, the regional Public Council on natural resources and environmental protection says. The council`s recommendations could now be included in new regional legislation, the Komi regional administration informs. Komi Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Geraimovich confirms that he is ready to look at measures aimed at revealing irregularities among the oil companies and that he will request the regional legislative assembly to elaborate a corresponding bill.

The environmental Public Council is an expert body established by the regional Ministry of Natural Resources in 2009. Its mission is participate in public debate and provide recommendations to government authorities.

Over many years, oil companies operating in the Timan-Pechora province have failed to provide regional authorities with accurate information environmental accidents. A growing frustration over the state of affairs is felt both in the Komi Republic and the neighboring Nenets AO. In government meeting last week, the Nenets regional government confirmed that “the untimely provision of information about oil spills to the corresponding authorities is characteristic for many of the oil companies working in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug”.

As previously reported, there have been three oil spills near the Kharyaga field only in the last year. In connection with the last spill, which took place on 17th October, the oil company informed the authorities only one day after the incident.