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'Clear the smog', demand residents of historic Siberian city

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 January 2016

Krasnoyarsk's skies have been black since the start of the New Year, with locals complaining of 'chemical smell', lack of oxygen.

'Soul cry. This is black smog over the city. Those who do not go to the suburbs cannot imagine the contrast.'  Picture: Svetlana Nazarova

These startling pictures show the city in what residents call 'Black Sky Mode', prompting an online petition to mayor Edkham Akbulatov and regional governor Viktor Tolokonsky demanding an improvement in the ecology.

Blue skies and bright sunshine are entirely blotted out by the 'veil of pollution' hanging over the city. Pictures posted by local people show a 'dangerous' environmental situation, they claim.

Svetlana Nazarova captioned a picture in her Instagram: 'Soul cry. This is black smog over the city. Those who do not go to the suburbs cannot imagine the contrast. 

Black Sky


Black Sky


Black Sky


Black Sky

'The city is covered by #blackskies, it is rather a #blackhole - and it lasts since the beginning of the year.' Pictures: Daria Tarasenko, Alexey Gudkin, Inna Maklakova, Ksenia Staranchukova

'In the woods today is the brightest sun and blue sky. Trees, shrubs and snow shining in the sun. And in the city is a grey veil, no air to breathe. I began to hate Krasnoyarsk. It is dangerous to live here.'

Daria Tarasenko posted: 'It seems that they [officials] gave up on the city's ecology. If my children want to leave, I will understand them.'

Olga Lomovtseva warned: 'The city is covered by #blackskies, it is rather a #blackhole - and it lasts since the beginning of the year. Nothing to breathe!'

Black Sky


Black Sky


Black Sky


Black Sky

Residents constantly feel a 'chemical smell' and the fears is expressed that officials do not disclose the sources of the pollution. Pictures: Olga Lomovtseva, Katya Churuksaeva, Dmitry Egorov, Viktor Belogurov

Officials have failed to explain the sources of pollution, according to some locals. The petition has been signed by more than 12,000 people in the industrial city. Residents constantly feel a 'chemical smell' and the fears is expressed that officials do not disclose the sources of the pollution. 

They expressed the concerns that the main sources are local factories, but that no one wants to impose limits on the fumes they pump into the atmosphere, or force the use of new filters. One suspected source of the problem is a landfill where sawdust has been burning for five months at Yenisei Pulp and Paper Mill.

Yenisei Paper Mill


Yenisei Paper Mill

One suspected source of the problem is a landfill where sawdust has been burning for five months at Yenisei Pulp and Paper Mill. Pictures: Alexander Chernykh

The governor insisted that urgent action is underway to install 'new higher-quality equipment' leading to better pollution control by factories. 'These programmes will be controlled strictly, and if a company does not perform activities they would face sanctions stronger than envisaged by the environmental legislation,' he said. 'We have the political will, and I openly say this to all businesses.'

But some pollution was caused by stoves and fires necessary for heating private houses in the cold weather, he said. 'I cannot appeal to people and say, 'Listen, stop use the stove, because of a lot of emissions'. It will pass. When the cold weather ends, everything will be restored.'

Lately, Krasnoyarsk - a historic city founded in 1628 with a population of 1.04 million - has had typical winter temperatures of below minus 20C.

Comments (3)

"Officials have failed to explain the sources of pollution,.." MH4?
LisaV, Vernon, BC
12/02/2016 12:07
0
0
Don't worry, Mother Earth. The humans will soon kill themselves off and the air will be clean again. You will have to suffer us maybe another 100 years. 200 years, at most.
james smith, Charlotte, NC, USA
19/01/2016 07:03
0
1
sawdust on a landfill? these guys,including the mayor and governor and the director of the paper mill should have had their head checked. it can be used to heat the furnaces of the places that produce hot water and steam for electricity. it is more or less an ecological clean substance. and safe on oil or coal which is a pollutant. that-s how it is done all over the EU since many years. or sort out the dust, with the more coarse bits and pieces one can make ,together with glue, wood boards than can and ARE being used for not so expensive furniture. but throwing it on a landfill? incompetent management right fro mthe top.
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
15/01/2016 12:13
5
0
1

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