30th of June, 2015. Donetsk People’s Republic
DPR legislators and administrators met at a roundtable to discuss measures to prevent an environmental disaster due to the collapse of a dam near Khartsyzsk.
The participants of the round table included members of the DPR People’s Council, DPR Emergency Ministry, DPR Ministry of Transport, officials from Khartsyzsk and Zuevka, “Voda Donbassa” (“Donbass Water”) enterprise, DPR Head Directorate of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, concrete constructions department of the Donbass National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DonNASA), as well as the DPR General Directorate of Ecology and Natural Resources.
“We discussed with various experts possible environmental threats in Khartsyzsk and the measures we could take to prevent such a disaster occurring. We expect to write out a major proposal, with the economic justification for it, and create an inter-ministerial parliamentary commission, to deal with such issues in the future. There are many dams, so we need to consolidate responsibility for such facilities into the hands of the relevant authorities. After today’s meeting, we have to solve this problem; we don’t have time, we need to decide now, as the dam won’t survive the winter. According to preliminary data, about 10,000 people could suffer from the any catastrophe just in the DPR alone, as a collapse of the dam would bring destruction all along the river,” – DPR People’s Council Deputy Yekaterina Pavlenko (faction Free Donbass), Secretary of the Committee on Social and Housing Policy, told reporters.
“A collapse would place about ten of our communities downriver from the dam at risk. Moreover, the disaster could spread to the Russian Federation. There’s a risk of secondary pollution… a flood would inundate cemeteries, burial grounds, industrial sites, and more. In addition, in the area of the dam, there are places where concentrations of copper in the soil exceed the normal by 700 times. In case of failure of the two dams, the rate of water-flow in the river would reach three to five kilometres per hour and wave height could exceed 25 metres,” – Maksim Agarkov, DPR Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations, said.
According to the preliminary conclusions of experts from DonNASA, the iron gate of the dam needs immediate replacement. However, to get the data necessary to order the proper materials, tools, and parts for the repair of the dam (or its new construction), we must carry out a full review, involving relevant experts.
According to the DPR People’s Council Committee on Social and Housing Policy, the dam on the Nizhnyaya Krynka River near Zuevka dates from 1937; it had a planned service life of 50 years. Since then, there have been no major repairs to the structure.
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