Head of Russia’s Komi Republic Arrives at Oil Pollution Site to Oversee Cleanup Efforts

Head of Russia’s Komi Republic Vladimir Uyba has headed to the northern city of Usinsk to supervise the elimination of the oil spill in the Kolva River that has resulted from an environmental accident in the neighboring region, the press service of the republic’s head said on Tuesday.

On October 17, iridescent film reportedly appeared on the surface of the Kolva river after an inoperative pipeline was depressurized in an oilfield situated in the neighboring Nenets Autonomous Area.

“This morning head of the Komi Republic Vladimir Uyba has headed to the district of Usinsk to coordinate the activities aimed at elimination of the results of an oil spill in the river Kolva,” the press service said.

The Investigative Committee of Russia in Arkhangelsk Region and Nenets Autonomous Area has initiated criminal proceedings in connection with the violation of environment protection law.

According to Komi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, four lines of oil-spill booms were deployed to prevent the spread of oil – two in Nenets Autonomous Area and the others in the Komi Republic. A state of emergency has been declared in the contaminated areas. The ministry added that “today there is no threat to the water supply system.”

On 17 October, 2020, a rupture was found in an oil pipeline in Nenets Autonomous Area. The oil spilled, covering an area of 25 square kilometers (9.7 square miles) and eventually infiltrated into the river of Kolva. Despite all the necessary measures taken to stop the oil leak, nearly one cubic meter of oil contaminated the soil and the river.