Russian Mining Company Admits Waste Pollution in Arctic
Russian mining giant, Norilsk Nickel, that was under fire last month for a huge Arctic diesel spill, said on Sunday that it had suspended personnel involved in pumping large amounts of wastewater into local tundra.
The wastewater was taken from an alarmingly full reservoir and dumped into the surrounding wildlife.
The company stated that it was a "flagrant violation of operating rules."
"Several hours" of wastewater discharge
This time around, Norilsk Nickel employees dumped around 6,000 cubic meters of liquid usually used to process minerals at the company's facility over "several hours."
Independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta published videos showing large metal pipes carrying wastewater from the reservoir and it being dumped into nearby trees.
The publication's reports claim that the water was deliberately pumped and that as soon as investigators and emergency services arrived on the scene, the pipes were quickly removed.
The Investigative Committee reportedly received reports of "unauthorized dumping of liquid waste into the tundra," and had opened up an inquiry on the matter.
Norilsk Nickel spokeswoman, Tatiana Egorova, told AFP on Sunday that employees of the factory had pumped out "purified water" and that an internal investigation was underway.
Russia's natural resources agency explained that the water was removed from the reservoir following heavy rainfall, as there was a worry of overspill.
Last month's spill, connected to a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, was due to a collapsed fuel tank that suffered its fate due to melting permafrost. President Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency and promised to pay for the clean up.
Russian authorities explained they could clean up the spill from the surface of the river, but that a full clean up would likely take years.