The Russian Department of Environmental Management and Ecology in July and August examined 58 petrol-filling stations (189 samples were taken) in Moscow and registered six cases of environmental violations. The total number of registered violations since January has reached 15 cases, Timur Chernyshev, the Department’s press-secretary, told The Moscow News.
The examination was conducted by independent experts, and the violators will be charged 400,000 rubles (a little less than $16,000) in fines. Later, in order to guarantee that the violation was eliminated, their products will be examined once again within a month after the violation’s registration. “Actually,we are permitted to examine one and the same patrol-filling station only once a year,”Chernyshev told The Moscow News. But he admitted that the examinations could become more frequent if residents begin to report to the Department via their hotline (205-8562) about any kind of ecological violations.
“All calls are followed up by an examination within three to four days after a complaint has been filed,” Chernyshev said.
It will be possible for people to keep track of the department’s work and learn the results of the investigations.
“We check fuel that matches with ecological requirements. In Moscow that’s Euro-3 standard,” he said. The owners of the capital’s petrolfilling stations are certainly unhappy about this requirement. This ecological standard applies to Moscow only, while the rest of Russia still adheres to the Euro-2 fuel standard.
The result is that fuel in the capital has become more expensive as compared to other regions. Consequently, it appears that Moscow’s ecological measures are more of a discriminatory character than any relaible arometer of the city’s ecological safety. Some say the ecological situation in Moscow could be drastically improved only if Euro-3 or higher standards were made obligatory for filling stations across the country. Otherwise, the Moscow measures will remain ineffective, especially taking into account that hundreds of thousands of vehicles drive to the capital,many from outside the city.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has said that exhaust fumes from vehicles comprise about 80 percent of atmospheric pollution in the capital. This shocking statistic gave him the grounds he needed to file an application to the Russian government in December 2006, introducing legal action for the production of “fake” petrol.
However, the Moscow authorities’ application found no support in the country’s governmental circles. This year the situation with the quality of petrol in Moscow has changed much compared to 2006, when the Department for Environmental Management and Ecology examined 188 petrol-filling stations, took 654 samples, and registered 47 samples on 38 stations (20.2 percent of the total number of those examined), which failed to meet ecological requirements. The fuel at 28 of those filling stations could not even meet the rather lax state standard.
“We check not only fuel on its matching with ecological requirements, but hold a complex examination of petrol-filling stations,” Chernyshev said. Every filling station has to have a plan of action aimed at preventing the accidental spill of oil products and its liquidation; cleaning arrangements for runoff water; documentation of waste disposal, garbage disposal, disposal of mercury- and oilcontaminated waste, etc.
“Our inspectors brought to light several of these violations this year, but the latter were insignificant,” Chernyshev said.
By Sergei Dmitriyev
The list of petrol-filling stations whose fuel did not match ecological requirements:
These six stations were booked in July-August, 2007:
1. STOKAP-LTD firm (the station’s lcation is Volokolamskoye highway, estate 101),
2. Bi-Gaz-Si JSC (Shoseynaya street, estate 1, building 10), 3. Transservis-A.S.Ltd. (Krasnokholmskaya quay, estate 13),
4. Riton Lux Ltd. (Moscow outer ring rod (MKAD) 52nd kilometer, estate 4),
5. TTTs AZS-21 Ltd. (Varshavskoye highway, estate 170g),
6. and Trans AZS CJSC (2nd Rybinskaya street, estate 14, building 1),
The Depatment’s website lists the following stations for violations earlier this year:
7. Torg Servis Ltd. (Tvardovskogo street, estate 16/2)
8. Torg Servis Ltd. (Mira avenue, estate 142)
9. Mezhgortrans JSC (Dvintsev street, estate 14)
10. Vlatika Ltd. (Lermontovsky avenue, 5/2)
11. K-Oil Ltd. (B.Kosinskaya street, estate 8)
12. Torg Servis Ltd. (N. Mnevniki street, 68, estate 62)
13. Avtoservis Ltd. (Borovskoye highway, estate 17)
14. MASTA Ltd. (Vernadskogo avenue, estate 10А)
15. Krossinvest CJSC (Vernadskogo avenue, estate 6А)