The remediation of the Samosyrovo landfill and the Pobedilovo sludge pits are key challenges for the republic, Tatarstan’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Alexander Shadrikov told Realnoe Vremya online conference . Serious work will have to be done to clean up the Volga (the water in the river has improved in recent years, estimates the environmental branch of the government of Tatarstan), to maintain the level of the river in the Kuybyshev reservoir and to restore next to the plots of land with potable water. underground waters. They also have to deal with local problems, their cost is comparable to large projects: the reconstruction of the dam near Nizhnekamsk alone cost almost a billion rubles, while at least a third of a billion will be needed to clean up the Melekeska river in Naberezhnye Chelny.
Remediation of the Samosyrovo landfill and the Pobedilovo sludge pits
The Environment Ministry called the Samosyrovo landfill, “a huge black spot in Kazan”, a key environmental problem in Tatarstan which “had bothered our citizens for many years”. The revegetation of the landfill was one of Russia’s first degassing pilot projects, which started on the instructions of the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. Later, Tatneft joined him.
âThanks to the National Environment Project, its The Clean Country program, the Samosyrovo landfill revegetation project started to be implemented in 2021. The project costs 890 million rubles. 298 million rubles will be spent on the first stage of the works this year, âAlexander Shadrikov told Realnoe Vremya’s online conference. âThe work is already underway.
The minister called the sludge pits near Pobedilovo the second most important environmental problem. Their sanitation is also a pilot project, which is very complex. 100 hectares will have to be cleaned up. After two years of research, suitable technology began to be researched, and the necessary solution was finally found.
âThe pits will be dehydrated, then disinfected with reagents, heavy metals will be deactivated and stabilized. And the most important thing is that this place does not become a new landfill site, it must be transformed into a recreation area in the future, âsaid the head of the Ministry of the Environment.
The water of the Volga has improved over the past three years
A project to revegetate a landfill in the village of Prosti, in the district of Nizhnekamsk, is coming to an end in Tatarstan this year. Then, the landfill burned, the site was still a topical subject for citizens and the media, recognized the minister. The situation was difficult.
âWhen we met the villagers, they said that before the rubber goods were dumped here, there had been springs, there had been a river with fish. Today, clean water and springs have reappeared after revegetation, âsaid the Minister.
Shadrikov noted that the landfill had a negative impact not only on the local river but also on the environment of Nizhnekamsk. Nowadays the problem has been solved, the ravine has been improved, while all rubber products have been recycled, not just “dug and buried in another place”.
Another important task is the reconstruction and construction of treatment facilities as part of the Volga National Rehabilitation Project. 12 such facilities have already been built, one of the most serious parts of the project will have to be done, which is the reconstruction of the treatment facilities in Kazan (they account for 64% of all sewage in the waters of Tatarstan) . In addition, only two districts were named in 2020, which were “in the green zone in terms of efficiency of treatment facilities. The water quality over the past three years has improved anyway. Minister Alexander Shadrikov cites data from 271 sensors in 69 bodies of water in Tatarstan and information from laboratories certified by the Ministry of the Environment.
âWe have seen analyzes for three years: the quality of the water has improved. Although many say that, on the contrary, the quality has deteriorated and that there would have been less fish, ânoted the interlocutor of Realnoe Vremya.
According to him, the Ministry of the Environment of Tatarstan is helping to launch legal actions against recalcitrant violators during the control of water bodies.
Reconstruction of the Nizhnekamsk dam for a billion
Many companies repeatedly commit violations. Alexander Shadrikov notably named the Archa company of the Baltasi district. It is a butter and milk factory, which is accused of polluting the Shoshma River near the village of Karelino, in the district of Baltasi.
In total, 11.5 billion rubles were spent in 2020 on environmental projects in Tatarstan, including from the Federal and Republican budgets. But Shadrikov says Tatarstan’s companies have invested the majority, 6.8 billion rubles, in measures designed to “eliminate the negative environmental impact.” Ultimately, Tatarstan holds the head of the amount of investment in environmental projects among the Volga regions.
âCompanies such as Tatneft and TAIF have made the main contribution. The municipalities themselves have done a job. Thanks to this, for example, we completely solved the dam problem in Nizhnekamsk district by rebuilding the 2,107 meter dam in Krasny Klyuch settlement â, said the Minister. “With the support of the Federal Water Resources Agency, more than 900 million rubles have been allocated to the development program of the aquatic complex alone.”
It became possible to maintain the water level in the Kuybyshev reservoir
Tatarstan has to solve another important problem – the water level in the Kuybyshev reservoir – with other regions of the Volga. This must be done amid the dissatisfaction of the citizens of Tatarstan from the riverside districts of Kazan where a very low level of the river has been recorded this year, resulting in fish mortality.
“As our colleagues from the Russian Environment Ministry say, everyone is telling the truth: Lower Volga speaks its own truth, Middle Volga also tells the truth,” noted the minister. âWe still have our own problem: who needs more water? “
The middle Volga river has five regions with the Kuybyshev reservoir. The Lower Volga includes the regions with access to the Caspian Sea, including Astrakhan Oblast. The Volga and Kama waterfall is a network of water stations, the Kuybyshev reservoir itself is only a part of it.
âThe drought in 2021 was like in 2010 (Editor’s note: the water level was then less than 49 meters). Even though we see a stable water level in the Kuybyshev reservoir, the water did not drop until August, âsaid the head of the environmental branch of the government of Tatarstan in disagreement with public opinion. âAnd today the level of our water tank is 50 meters and 11 centimeters in the Baltic elevation system. This level is not critical.
Now the task is to maintain this level by accumulating as much water as possible before spring with his field work. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary to control the water level in the Kuybyshev reservoir – “not only Tatarstan needs it”. That is why today Tatarstan agrees with four other regions – Ulyanovsk Oblast, Mari El, Samara Oblast and Chuvashia – on its decision on the water level in the framework the work of the intergovernmental group of the Federal Water Resources Agency.
âThis problem is common. Joys are common. And a joint decision must be taken â, declared the Minister.
Necessary to set aside land with springs
Finally, in addition to large-scale problems, Tatarstan controls the sources of groundwater and the treatment of small rivers in the republic. Nowadays there are many such springs, the largest are located in Zelenodolsk and in the Laishevo district. The authorities consider them primarily as âreserve sourcesâ for the Kazan metropolitan area.
âIn fact, drinking water has to have more value, it cannot be treated so carelessly. It must be saved, âwarns the Minister of the Environment of Tatarstan. “We must reserve land, reserve plots with deposits of drinking water [prohibiting construction there]. “
Not everyone understands this. So Shadrikov gave an example: one of the municipalities recently decided to build an industrial park on a territory with a source of quality drinking water. Despite this, the minister noted, the district declared the area an “industrial territory”.
The Federal Unique Aquatic Sites Program under the National Environment Project is responsible for the treatment of small rivers in Tatarstan. In this program, the bottom of the Melekeska River in the center of Naberezhnye Chelny will be cleaned. Several similar projects where it is necessary to clean the tributaries and the rushing river have been implemented in the republic since 2021. The total cost of the works is 200 million rubles. Another project is the clean-up of the tributary of the Vyatka River in the Mamadysh district. Two projects are carried out in the villages of Nikolskoye and Derzhavino in the district of Laishevo. Laishevo’s two projects have already been completed, the water bodies will just have to be stocked in 2022.
âWe all know the state of the Melekeska River today. The man-made factor had a huge impact on that, of course. We can, it’s everyone’s fault. Urgent action is needed. The river is 4.6 kilometers long. Now we are preparing the funding for 2022-2023.
The clean-up of the river alone is valued at 308 million rubles.
Sergei Afanassiev. Photo: Maxim Platonov