Solutions for current ecological problems in Novosibirsk
The increase of fees for the removal of solid domestic waste, difficulties in working with a new regional operator, differing perspectives on the construction of a waste processing plant in Novosibirsk, the lack of culture and absence of infrastructure for sorted waste collection — these are the hottest ecological issues in the Novosibirsk Region that were discussed at the Domina Hotel on April 18, 2019. Representatives of the regional and municipal power, major businesses and public organizations gathered for the conference “Solutions for current ecological problems as a key to the stable development of the Novosibirsk Region” organized by Kommersant Publishing House.
Taking care of the environment is a costly endeavor and not all enterprises are ready to invest in environmental protection. This is why legislation and public authorities play a key role in the regulation of this sphere. – Yuliya Yurchenko, an environmental expert from the Pepelyaev Group, talked about amendments to the legislation for this area which, from January 1, 2019, has hardened control over emissions and obligations of the enterprises to ensure the protection of the environment. “The most hazardous facilities in terms of environmental impact are those within Category I, that now are obliged to obtain complex environmental permits (CEPs) every 7 years,— says Yuliya. —The deadline for the 300 enterprises included on the list (approved by the Ministry of Nature) to apply for a CEP is set before the end of 2022. All other category I organizations must have a valid complex ecological permit by January 1, 2025. In the case of a violation of the requirements, these companies will be held liable according to article 8.47 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation.” She noted that enterprises that don’t attempt to pass their environmental expert reviews and apply for CEP right now run the risk of future administrative congestion and negative outcomes.
Also Yuliya informed the audience that Federal Law No. 496-FZ, adopted in December, obliged category II facilities to submit environmental impact declarations every 7 years, and that many of them have to do so as early as 2019 in order for them to obtain their permits and quotas for emissions/discharge of pollutants, as well as the waste generation and disposal standards and limits. Category III facilities have to submit their waste reports only in the form of notifices. Also, enterprises implementing the best available technologies are entitled to apply a zero coefficient when paying for emissions/discharges. Ms. Yurchenko took special care to iterate the obligation of category I enterprises to create automatic emission/discharge monitoring systems.
The practice of equipping facilities with such systems and obtaining CEPs was reported on by Aleksei Kolegov, deputy CEO of COTES Engineering. He spoke about COTES’ experience in installing such systems in Russia, as well as how efficient monitoring systems are abroad in, for example, Estonia. He explained what automatic pollutant monitoring systems consist of, and the peculiarities of installation and operation thereof at various industrial facilities. Aleksei noted that the period for design, supply and adjustment of the systems such as these can take several months to a year, and that the cost can reach 1 million euro per source of emissions. A video of a continuous emission monitoring system installation on a flue stack, and a special elevator for servicing it, impressed the conference attendees so a great deal. Mr. Kolegov added that many enterprises understand their need to develop an automatic monitoring system creation program in the course of preparing an application for a CEP. To date, COTES Engineering has received many requests for conducting feasibility studies for analytic hardware installation on emission sources, including determining optimum installation locations, comparing technical and commercial proposals from equipment manufacturers, and evaluating construction and other engineering works on-site.
The list of 300 facilities approved by order No.154 of 18.04.2018, included 5 enterprises of Novosibirsk Region. These are CHP plants Nos. 2, 3, 5 of Novosibirsk, the Iskitim Cement Plant and MUP GORVODOKANAL in Novosibirsk itself. Aleksei Kolegov noted, that COTES is ready to do its part in equipping these facilities with automatic emission monitoring systems.
The second part of the conference was “Green Novosibirsk: Efficient mechanisms for the solution of ecological problems”, the guest start of which was the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in the Novosibirsk Region, Andrey Danilenko. He noted a positive trend in focusing on ecological problems in recent times and that, in his opinion, this correlates with the growth in the welfare of Novosibirsk’s people. The environment in Novosibirsk, compared with the situation 40 years ago, has been improved considerably: the atmospheric air pollution index has been reduced 5 times over (from 35 to 7). The Minister called upon the discussion participants to look at the regional environment with a view to what we can change, as opposed to unchangeable facts like the climate conditions we live in. But we are able to request that companies respect the environment and require that they cause as minimal an impact as possible.
The discussion moderators were Nikolay Salnikov, an expert from the Siberian Politics Foundation, and Igor Ukraintsev, head of the regional branch of “Zelyonye,” a Russian ecological activists’ party. Ilya Polyakov, a deputy of the parliament of the Novosibirsk Region, Igor Titarenko, a deputy of the Novosibirsk City Parliament, Andrey Gudkovskiy, head of the Novosibirsk public organization “Gorod” and others joined the discussion. In the end, the attendees discussed a resolution including 10 items. They offered to expand the liability of business for failure to comply with environmental protection laws, to join the efforts for safeguarding green areas, to contribute into development of corporate ecological volunteering, and to implement separated waste collection both in public and private facilities.