Mining company spill causes ″ unprecedented pollution ″

In a statement released online on its official website, the Russian mining giant says the incident occurred at the Talnakh ore enrichment plant, located near the arctic village of Norilsk.

The wastewater, used to process minerals extracted from the region, “overflowed from a reservoir on Sunday and was dumped into nature,” the company said.

The waste leak, which was explained as an effect of the thaw caused by rising temperatures, was stopped by factory workers, with no danger of further contamination of the Arctic at this time, Nornickel guarantees.

However, the services of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, cited by the public agency Ria Novosti, guarantee that the leak increased the risk of contamination by toxic substances in the nearby Kharaïakh River.

The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed in a statement that an “unauthorized discharge of liquid waste into the tundra area” occurred near Talnakh and announced the opening of an investigation.

The Russian opposition newspaper Novaïa Gazeta, meanwhile, claimed that the factory unlawfully and intentionally dumped wastewater.

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Russian arctic. Mining company spill causes ″ unprecedented pollution ″

In a statement released online on its official website, the Russian mining giant says the incident occurred at the Talnakh ore enrichment plant, located near the arctic village of Norilsk.

The wastewater, used to process minerals extracted from the region, “overflowed from a reservoir on Sunday and was dumped into nature,” the company said.

The waste leak, which was explained as an effect of the thaw caused by rising temperatures, was stopped by factory workers, with no danger of further contamination of the Arctic at this time, Nornickel guarantees.

However, the services of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, cited by the public agency Ria Novosti, guarantee that the leak increased the risk of contamination by toxic substances in the nearby Kharaïakh River.

The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed in a statement that an “unauthorized discharge of liquid waste into the tundra area” occurred near Talnakh and announced the opening of an investigation.

The Russian opposition newspaper Novaïa Gazeta, meanwhile, claimed that the factory unlawfully and intentionally dumped wastewater.

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With the déconfinement, Paris’s choking again

Air paris has not been breathing well for a long time. After a strong decrease in air pollution during the containment, Paris sees its rate of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas, to go up in arrow. The rebound is the most important among the major european cities, according to a study by the Centre for energy research and the quality of the air (CREA).

→ TO READ. ‘Convention’: the proposed shock to the climate

The independent charity, based in Helsinki, Finland, noted an increase of 118 % of emissions of NO2 in the capital compared to the lowest level identified during the containment. A bond which is far superior to those observed in other big European cities, like Brussels (88 %) or Milan (73 %).

Metro desert and diesels on the roads

One of the explanations lies in the recovery of the traffic and the use of the individual car. “The ile-de-france are fleeing transport. There was a decrease of two-thirds of the traffic compared to usual “, note Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris, to transportation, roads, travel and public space.

Users are guided in part, on the motor vehicle, who possess for many a diesel engine. “France has the fleet, the more diésélisé Europe, with 70 % of the vehicles. However, the diesel emits a lot of nitrogen dioxide “, pointe Olivier Blond, president of the association Breathes.

There is no explosion of traffic on the road as much. “The traffic has returned to its level prior to containment “says Christophe Najdovski. Two million motor vehicles circulate every day in Paris. Some users in the île de france in contrast, have postponed their mobility to the bike. “Between march and June, we note an increase in traffic on the bike trails transients of the order of 50% to 70% “enthuses Christophe Najdovski.

Strong reduction of road traffic during the containment

Olivier Blond wants to also tint the figures of the study. “The importance of the rebound is tied to the importance of the decline during the containment, which has been exceptional “, he comments. The organization of finland states that Paris has experienced the second largest reduction in the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, thanks to the containment measures, with a reduction of 60 %.

“The reduction of road traffic has been stronger than in other european cities, note also Christophe Najdovski. This demonstrates that there is a strong correlation between the level of nitrogen dioxide and the volume of traffic. “” There’s nothing new under the sun “, advance Olivier Blond, which reminds us that these debates on the traffic in Paris often come back on the carpet.

The two men rely in any case on a development of soft mobility, revealed with the containment. “The bike paths, and telework are all the major revolutions and a real challenge for the coming years “analysis Olivier Blond. And Christophe Najdovski to thrive : “We must continue to telework, expanding the use of the bicycle at a regional scale and to restore the confidence of the users in the public transport. Otherwise, Paris will be asphyxiated. “

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two studies confirm this – Free Daily

The smog and l’polluted air do not favor only the emergence of tumorsbut also byAlzheimer’s disease. According to two separate studies reported by the Printwhat we breathe would affect in a decisive manner on the state of our brain. The first research, the Swedish institute Karolinska of Stockholm, and published on Jama Neurologyhe states that “exposure to smog increases the risk of developing dementia.” And this in an environment like the center of Stockholm in which “the average annual level of particulate matter Pm2,5 well below the limit in Europe and in the Usa”. Even in the conditions of the air-all in all good, in short, “there arose the harmful effects on health: the the risk of dementia increases of 50% for an increase of 0.88 micrograms per cubic meter concentration of Pm2.5 and 14% for an increase of 8.35 micrograms per cubic meter in the concentration of nitrogen oxides”. The deterioration of cognitive abilities “is mediated by vascular effects: nearly 50% of cases of dementia from the pollution was due to stroke“. In other words, the pollutants are “neurotoxic”, damage the brain and have a close link with the disease neurovascular and neurodegenerative.

Frightening wave of stroke, incidence 7 times higher. Coronavirus, drama, among the under-50: the final frightening discovery

Confirmations in this sense by the second study, published on Neurology and made in a context very different, comparing the residents in the area North of Manhattan and in the neighborhoods of Inwood and Washington Heights in New York: the quality of air gets worse and the more it is obvious and quick cognitive impairment. According to the head of studio, Erin Kulick Brown University School of Public Health, these results “raise the question as to whether the limits imposed by law are sufficiently low to protect the health of the people.” Nine europeans out of 10, recalls the Print, “is exposed to levels of particulate matter higher than the values laid down by theWho and, according to the European Environment Agency, Italy is the worst in Europe with 76mila premature deaths related to air pollution by Pm2.5, ozone and nitrogen dioxide”.

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state of the places of a planet in danger

The man has eaten the Earth

Tuesday, 9 June at 22: 25 on Arte.

At a time when the economy is growing gradually, this documentary by Jean-Robert Viallet (The death of the work, Students : the future of credit…) stresses the responsibility of men in the destruction of the planet. After a shock is also important for the established order, because of the health crisis, he warns us against the risk of a return to “normal” which would be detrimental to the future of the human species.

In the light of the historical and political events, scientific discoveries and technical choices made deliberately by the decision-making powers, the film shows how the race to “progress” since the beginning of the industrialization in England of the XIXe century leads to a massive destruction and out of control of the planet, the point of entering a new geologic era : the anthropocene, or age of man. The voice, calm and even sweet, provides a critical review of the situation, while archives around the world enable to place events in their context.

“A thought unique of progress “

Some of the phrases shock inspire a deeper reflection, such as the following : “In mobilizing its scientific genius to kill the enemy, man has learned to kill the living in general. “ The words are illustrated with concrete examples and eloquent that help the overall understanding, among which the disappearance of the streetcars in the u.s. to meet the wishes of General Motors… More than a story, it is a “symbol of a thought unique of progress “ : it is for the company to conquer new markets, to the detriment of an ecological means of transport, collective, and practice. By exposing with precision and decline in an alarming situation, Jean-Robert Viallet called to the responsibility, of all and of each individual.

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The air pollution is rising again after the déconfinement

During the containment, emissions, including those related to road traffic, had experienced a sudden drop unprecedented, […] divided by 4 compared to the levels pre-confinement in the Ile-de-France, recalls in a press release Airparif, which monitors air quality in the capital region.

Over the period from 11 to 31 may, the gradual resumption of activities, and especially of the traffic, has led to a rise in the quantities of pollutants released in the atmosphere to oxides of nitrogen (pollutant mainly emitted by road traffic), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) at levels equivalent to 80 % of the observed emission before the confinement, and up to 90% on the boulevard périphériquesays Airparif.

“A return to the normal gradual “

The CO2 emissions are also resumed an upward trend, with an increase of up to 80 % of normal levels, says Airparif.

In terms of the quality of the air, this rise in emissions is reflected by a back to normal […] gradual, with an intensity that varies according to the pollutants. But, even now, the pollution levels are close to normal conditions in the Ile-de-France at this time of the year.

Thus, for the fine particles, after a decrease of -7 % during the containment, the levels observed usually at this time of the year with new, whereas for nitrogen dioxide, the decrease of concentration in the air is increased from -25 % during the containment at 15 % on the first 3 weeks of déconfinement.

This surge of pollution, particularly due to traffic, was expected and was also observed by other approved Associations for monitoring air quality (AASQA) regional, as in Occitania or in New Aquitaine, without yet returning to levels prior to the confinement.

A major item on the agenda “of the” world after “

The national network of 18 AASQA meeting in addition to significant difficulties of funding and has alerted the Prime minister Edward Philip in a letter, desiring the grant of a grant outstanding three million euros.

In a letter to the president of their federation Atmo France, Guy Bergé, the national Council of the Air, the member LREM Jean-Luc Fugit, senator LR Jean-François Husson, representative of the Senate to the national Council for Air and the presidents of 18 AASQA, alert the leader of the government in their difficulties, even as the issue of the quality of the air will be a major item on the agenda of the world after the crisis of the Covid, and desire an interview to discuss these issues.

They alert to the fact that their economic model – of State subsidies, communities and donations tax exempt companies subject to the general tax on polluting activities (GTPA) – is weakened, specifically the decline of this third source of income.

Gold the missions tasked to our associations continue to groweven as the share of regulatory (of their work) today is not fully compensated by the State, said Guy Bergé, estimating about 4 million of the shortfall on the GTPA.

The crisis of the Covid has shown that this problem is going to be increasingly important. They were able to measure the changes of pollution in a rigorous manner because we have this strong network, which also serves to support and inform public policy, pointed out of his side, Jean-Luc Fugit.

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when plants replace concrete

It is a popular place for tourists, who like to sail on the Mayenne and admire its bucolic shores. The Grez-Neuville canal, north of Angers (Maine-et-Loire), has been the subject of rather rare experimentation on this scale for two years: restoring its banks by preferring plants to stones. “We had observed their degradation during periods of low water, says Gwennaël Cordier, technician in aquatic environments in the department. To restore them, two options were available to us: resort to civil engineering, with masonry or riprap, or else to plant engineering, by focusing on the capacities of plants to fix and consolidate the banks. We chose the second. “

To select the best species to implant, the department relied on the expertise of the Fresne Agricultural High School, near Angers. “They had to resist the water, the waves caused by the boats, the erosion and the nutria which dig galleries, explains the technician. They also had to develop slowly and require little maintenance. “

Nature-based solutions

The choice fell on the plantation of earth sausages surrounded by coconut fibers, sown with helophyte plants such as irises or rushes. “They have the particularity of having their feet in the water and their heads in the sun”, describes André Evette, engineer and researcher at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae), which closely monitors plant engineering projects in France (1). “These nature-based solutions are not new and date back to Antiquity, he recalls. But we lost sight of them from the 1950s and the transition to all-concrete. It was the era of the Thirty Glorious Years, and we didn’t have the same way of seeing the world as today … “ In the 1970s and 1980s, Austria and Switzerland brought these techniques up to date, followed by Germany and the Netherlands. In France, they have reappeared for ten years.

“Their major advantage is to favor the ecological restoration of the banks, high places of biodiversity, explains the researcher. The plants filter the pollutants that arrive in the water, provide a welcome shade and recreate a whole habitat in the air as in the water: insects, dragonflies, crayfish, freshwater shrimps, fish … “ A virtuous circle, which saves money. “Not only is it better to work with living things, but it’s also cheaper, confirms Gwennaël Cordier. Our plant site costs around € 40,000, when a “hard” development can amount to millions of euros, taking into account the difficulties of access to the site for construction machinery. “ Finally, if its effectiveness is not as immediate as a concrete installation, over time, “Plant engineering is becoming stronger than civil engineering”, he continues.

→ READ. Microplastics, nitrate: World Bank investigates invisible water pollution

Work on the Grez-Neuville canal was carried out in October 2018, testing two techniques. For the first 75 meters, a strip of local herb seeds has been planted above the helophyte sausages in geotextile. “It is a good alternative to the plastic sheet because it degrades naturally. “ Over the next 75 meters, a bed of willow plants has been added. The most effective technique will be reproduced on the 650 meters of remaining banks. A year and a half later, the first assessment is already positive: “The plants are well anchored to the ground and the willows have grown very well, greet the technician. But we must wait until spring 2021 to draw our conclusions. “

Only 5% of rivers in good ecological condition

In this department concentrating 7,000 kilometers of rivers, of which only 5% are in good ecological condition, the restoration of the banks and, ultimately, the recovery of the quality of the water prove to be crucial. “With plant engineering, we try to repair the mistakes of the past”, explains Marc Helbert, head of the water service in the department, which coordinates an Observatory of water quality in Anjou. “What weighs most on us is the fish index, he comments. It will replenish when they can circulate more freely in our waterways. But these actions will take time to produce their effects… ”

Especially since these techniques inspired by nature are not so simple to implement. “They require multidisciplinary skills and strong field experience, comments André Evette. It is not enough to follow technical rules like in civil engineering. Living things are impossible to model. How to predict that a beaver will eat the willow that has been planted? “ If plants can solve a multitude of problems – maintaining agricultural land in the face of erosion, preventing avalanches in the mountains, cleaning up soil, phyto-purification, wind or noise barrier – they cannot always be enough . “When you have a torrent near a school, you may not be going without concrete to secure the site, comments the researcher. In an urban environment, you don’t always have a choice. But mixed solutions are developing. “

→ REPORTAGE. At the Paris Aquarium, fish grow tomatoes

Nor is it easy to convince of the economic profitability of these developments. The establishment of hedges or buffer zones not cultivated in agricultural zones, for example, requires educational work. “Obviously, the financial gain is not necessarily demonstrated for a productivist agricultural model”, recognizes André Evette.

Last merit of plant genius: embellishing the landscape. “In front of our work on the canal, we have a very busy towpath, notes Gwennaël Cordier. Walkers are delighted with the new plantations. “ What hardly surprises André Evette: “Plants have a positive influence on humans: our blood pressure decreases in the forest, seeing a tree from its window facilitates healing in the hospital like concentration in a classroom. Putting plants back, in the end, is no longer disjoining man and nature … “

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Not enough fish, too many pesticides

The balance sheet drawn up in 2018 by the Observatory of water quality in Anjou over the last ten years draws up an unquestionable observation: too much nitrates, presence of 151 pesticide molecules (glyphosate, atrazine…), average or even bad fish population.

However, two indicators experience improvement (phosphorus, nitrogen) linked to
progress in wastewater treatment.

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Coronavirus detected in airborne contamination particles

The coronavirus has been detected in pollution particles in the air by a group of Italian scientists who are now investigating whether this can allow the virus SARS-CoV 2 reach longer distances and increase the number of infected, according to advanced the British newspaper The Guardian.

The work is preliminary, so it is not yet known if the coronavirus remains in contamination. in sufficient quantity to cause contagion.

Scientists used standard techniques to collect contamination samples of the outside air in a urban point and other industrial in the province of Bergamo and identified a highly specific gene for covid-19 in multiple samples. Detection was confirmed by blind testing in an independent laboratory.

In front of the team is Leonardo Setti, from the University of Bologna, who has stressed the importance of research if the virus can go further favored by air pollution.

“I am a scientist and I am concerned when I don’t know,” he said. “If we know, we can find a solution. But if we don’t know, we can only suffer the consequences.”

Relationship between contamination and infection

Statistical analysis by Setti’s team suggests that higher levels of contamination particle could explain higher infection rates in parts of northern Italy before a blockade was imposed, an idea backed by another preliminary analysis. The region is one of the most polluted in Europe.

Two other research groups have already suggested that particles of cair pollution could help the coronavirus to travel further in the air.

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Pollution: the Sicilian “Quadrilateral of Death”

Published on :

In eastern Sicily, between Syracuse and Augusta, lies one of the largest petrochemical poles in Europe. Ten industrial chemical and petroleum refining plants share 25 kilometers of coastline; 30% of the petrol consumed in Italy is produced here.

The industrial setting up, since the 1950s, has extended pollution to soil, air, ground water, and even to die … the 180,000 inhabitants of the four municipalities concerned denounce a health nightmare, each accuses pollution of having killed one of his loved ones by lung, colon or breast cancer.

The Sicilian “Quadrilateral of Death”, a Great report by Clémentine Méténier.

Photos: Alberto Campi | WeReport





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