The plans for construction of the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil-pipe line not only threaten the existence of the last population of the Far Eastern leopard but also Lake Baikal. According to the latest project, the oil-pipe line will go along the route of the Baikal-Amur trank line, less than a kilometer from the northern extremity of the Lake –the town of Severobaikalsk.
“According to the designers’ estimates, in case of an emergency in the pipe line, up to four thousand tons of oil will get into Baikal within 20 minutes!” comments Mikhail Kreidlin, Greenpeace expert. Lake Baikal is registered in the List of UNESCO World Heritage, which Russia has always been proud of. That is why now, if the plans of Transneft do not change, the UNESCO experts who have visited the locations of prospective construction will recommend including Baikal in the “List of the World Heritage in Danger”. And in the future, if the Russian authorities do not undertake specific steps to preserve the lake, Baikal may even be excluded from the List! That will be national disgrace for Russia, as there have never been such precedents in the world.
“This variant of the project is even worse than the previous one, under which the route used to be placed closer to the north – in the territory of Yakutia, - says Mikhail Kreidlin. Besides its vicinity to Baikal, according to the current version the route will run for 70 kilometers along the intense seismic load zone, more than 9 to 10 on Richter scale.” On top of that, the oil-pipe line will go directly through the “Barsovy (Ounce)” game reserve.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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