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Pollution Levels Remain High in the Sea Water

Pollution Levels Remain High in the Sea Water

Off the Coast of the Taman Peninsula


According to data from analyses of seawater received from the Kuban Estuary Station on November 30, the pollution of the coast water on the Taman Peninsula has increased again.  Water samples were taken on November 28.  According to the conclusions of the Kuban Estuary Station, the reason for the increase in pollution was the strong southwestern and western winds, which created large waves.  This resulted in an increase in the turbidity of the water as secondary pollution was transferred to the water along the eastern shore of the Taman coastline. In comparison with November 25, the pollution levels increased from 0.8-2.0 MPC (maximum permissible concentration) of oil products in seawater to 1.0-5.5 MPC.

The highest level of pollution was found on the Tuzla Spit on the side of the Black Sea, where it was 5.8 times higher than the MPC.  Its obvious that this is connected with the proximity to the location of the sunken tanker “Volgoneft 139.”

Other areas on the Azov seacoast of the Taman Peninsula registered higher levels of pollution.  The Cape of Pekla was greater than 4.0 MPC; three kilometers to the east of Cape Akhilleon (in the area of the village of Priaovskyi) MPC was greater than 3.8; and the cape of Akhilleon was greater than 3.4 MPC.  One of the reasons for the high levels of pollution on this part of the beach, without a doubt, is the fact that no work has been conducted here to clean the beach of fuel oil.  Petroleum products that spilled from the freighter were riled up during the storm and are now a source of secondary pollution in the seawater.

High levels of pollution—3.2 times higher than the MPC—were also identified at the village of Taman, located on the Taman Gulf.  In the Dinsk Gulf the level of pollution at the village of Zaporozhsk and in the village of Batareika was 2.2 times the MPC.

Not a single sample showed pollution levels less than 1 MPC.  Even at points far from the catastrophe on the eastern bank of the Sea of Azov the level of pollution was considerably high.  On the Solovevsk Narrow Strait and in Perekopka it was greater than 1.2 MPC, and on the Zozulievskyi Narrow Strait, which is located on the territory of Slavianskyi raion, it was greater than 1.0 MPC.

With the exception of the Tuzla Spit, the Kuban Estuary Station will not collect data on the pollution of the Black Sea shore after November 30th.

Specialists from the Kuban Estuary Station also took samples on November 28 from benthic water. In the area where the “Volgoneft 139” tanker went down, south of the Tuzla Spit, samples of benthic water were taken at a distance of one hundred meters away to the west, north, east and south.  Analysis of the samples showed that the level of pollution by petroleum products in the benthic water around the tanker was from 2.2 to 3.2 MPC.

The samples were taken 18 days after the catastrophe in the Strait of Kerch.  The fact that such a long time after the accident there was such a high level of pollution in the sea, even after the strong winds and stormy weather assisted in dispersing the pollutants throughout the waters of the Black and Azov Seas, illustrates how many petroleum products continue to be in the sea water in this area, along with the petroleum products, which were not removed from several areas of the shoreline, the fuel oil that is settling into the sea bed, and the petroleum products that are still in the open water of the sea.  It is obvious that fuel oil continues to enter the sea from the sunken broken parts of the tanker, “Volgoneft139,” which has not been able to be raised because of the stormy weather, as well as from the leakage of fuel from the three sunken barges that were carrying sulfur.


Translated by Crude Accountability

Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus
Information Distribution

December 1, 2007

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