Baltic states shocked over Russian sewerage dump

Russian sewerage dump is responsible for declining fish stock in the Baltic seas.

Baltic states shocked over Russian sewerage dump

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pollution is killing the Visby sea with some of the most egregious dumping being done by Kaliningrad, which is bordered by Poland and Lithuania and fronting the Baltic Sea some 300 kilometers south of Gotland.

Kaliningrad pours a daily dose of some 150,000 cubic meters of raw sewage into the sea.

"It's incomprehensible that Kaliningrad, a city 20 times the size of Visby, is allowed to keep spewing sewage into the Baltic Sea," Peter Landergren, an official in charge of water issues at the Gotland county administration, told RFE/RL at the Visby quay. "Simply pumping the waste from 450,000 residents plus local industry into the Baltic Sea is a marine disaster."

According to a report in Sputnik, since 2007, the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) -- an agency funded by regional governments -- the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the Russian government have been financing a Kaliningrad wastewater treatment plant that was scheduled to be ready for use in 2011.

When 2014 turned to 2015 and no sewage plant was in place, the exasperated donors complained to the exclave's governor, Nikolai Tsukanov -- not for the first time.

"And now, when 90 percent of the plant is completed, Kaliningrad has replaced, without retendering, the contractor with a local company, which will take responsibility for the whole plant," NDEP manager Jaakko Henttonen said last month, speaking from Kaliningrad. "It's like a bad joke."

Tsukanov, who has been governor since September 2010, did not respond to a request for comment.


The Baltic Sea's pollution is tied with the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus contained in sewage with this agricultural waste leading  to eutrophication: algae get too much nourishment and take over the ocean, then sink to the seabed where they consume the oxygen on which small fish such as herring depend. Combined with poor fishery management, has led to declining stocks of the ocean's top predators, such as the cod.

By some measures, Kaliningrad is not the biggest offender. Poland's waste -- mainly from agriculture -- accounts for 30 percent of annual nitrogen emissions into the Baltic Sea, and the European Commission took Poland to the European Court of Justice in 2013 over its continued pollution of the sea.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2015, 16:56