Clean-up of toxic waste site Krasnyi Bor discussed by HELCOM

  • HELCOM countries call for NEFCO to coordinate international involvement in remediation of Krasnyi Bor hazardous waste landfill
  • Hazardous substances, progress in reducing marine litter and underwater noise other key topics in HELCOM Pressure group meeting

The international community discussed this week joint cooperation for cleaning up a major HELCOM Hot Spot - the toxic waste site Krasnyi Bor near St. Petersburg, Russia, at the HELCOM Pressure group meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

Upon the initiative of Finland, Estonia and Sweden, HELCOM countries called for Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) to coordinate the international involvement to the Krasnyi Bor waste site. A road map to remediate the site by 2025 was presented at the meeting by a representative of the St. Petersburg administration.

The Russian representative also introduced a more open information policy regarding the progress in ongoing activities in the Krasnyi Bor clean-up and environmental monitoring data, both soon available online.

Presentations by TechnoTerra and State Unitary Environmental Enterprise “Krasny Bor” Landfill” provide more details about the issue.

Krasnyi Bor, last visited by HELCOM experts in June 2016, is a hazardous waste dump site sorting some 2 million tons of hazardous waste and long known as a significant pollution Hot Spot in the region. The area has been built for the reception, disposal and burial of toxic industrial wastes from St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region. The site was listed as a HELCOM Hot Spot in the early 1990s. Last winter, the weather conditions raised concerns about imminent flooding and leaking of harmful substances from the site to the environment.

Evaluating for the first time the progress made in significantly reducing marine litter in the Baltic was another topic of the HELCOM Pressure group meeting and the preceding workshop. The implementation of HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, adopted in 2015, is followed up regularly and the suggested future actions include updating of HELCOM Recommendations on waste water treatment and storm water management, in order to prevent releasing of litter, particularly micro plastics, into the marine environment. The meeting has also had a high focus on hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea and other meeting topics include underwater noise, dredging, sewage sludge, and internal loading of phosphorus.

Fifth Meeting of the HELCOM Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area (PRESSURE 5-2016) is held on 25–27 October 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. The meeting is hosted by the National Water Management Authority of Poland and chaired by Lars Sonesten, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

After the meeting, all documents will be available at the Meeting site.

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Note for editors:

The list of HELCOM Hot Spots – significant pollution sites around the Baltic Sea – was originally established in the beginning of 1990s, as a part of HELCOM's efforts to foster international cooperation and coordination to resolve the most acute environmental problems of the Baltic Sea. Since then, three quarters of the Hot Spots have been removed from the list due to systematic mitigation work by the coastal states.  Nonetheless, some of the polluting sites still remain on the HELCOM agenda.

The Pressure Group focuses on nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including the follow-up of HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme implementation. The group ensures the necessary technical underpinning and develops solutions for policy-relevant questions and needs. Marine litter and underwater noise are also coordinated by this group. Its official name is the Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area.

Working to safeguard the marine environment from pollution and ensure safe navigation in the Baltic Sea, HELCOM acts as the governing body of the 1974 Helsinki Convention. HELCOM's official name is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.

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For more information, please contact:

Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky
Professional Secretary
HELCOM
Tel: +358 40 630 9933
E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fi

Johanna Laurila
Information Secretary
HELCOM
Tel: +358 40 523 8988
Skype: helcom70
E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi

The list of HELCOM Hot Spots – significant pollution sites around the Baltic Sea – was originally established in the beginning of 1990s, as a part of HELCOM's efforts to foster international cooperation and coordination to resolve the most acute environmental problems of the Baltic Sea. Since then, three quarters of the Hot Spots have been removed from the list due to systematic mitigation work by the coastal states.  Nonetheless, some of the polluting sites still remain on the HELCOM agenda.

The Pressure Group focuses on nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including the follow-up of HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme implementation. The group ensures the necessary technical underpinning and develops solutions for policy-relevant questions and needs. Marine litter and underwater noise are also coordinated by this group. Its official name is the Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area.

Working to safeguard the marine environment from pollution and ensure safe navigation in the Baltic Sea, HELCOM acts as the governing body of the 1974 Helsinki Convention. HELCOM's official name is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.

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About Us

HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission) is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the EU, working to protect the Baltic marine environment and to ensure safety of navigation in the region.

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A road map to remediate the toxic waste site by 2025 has been drafted.
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HELCOM countries call for NEFCO to coordinate international involvement in the waste site clean-up
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