Samplings in Luga River Will Continue by Early May
19 April 2012, St. Petersburg, Russia – The BALTHAZAR Project working meeting discussed today the technical details of the continuation of the targeted sampling programme by a Finnish-Russian team in the Luga River and the nearby industrial area in Kingisepp, Russia. The Meeting concluded that the joint sampling can be expected to continue in two weeks’ time and agreed on procedures regarding accessibility to the sampling locations. The aim of the monitoring efforts is to investigate the high phosphorus loads to the Baltic Sea, found late last year in the area.
The intensified joint sampling programme begun a month ago upon request of HELCOM, aiming at estimating the load from the area more accurately. The joint planned monitoring includes a comprehensive investigation in additional creeks and brooks surrounding the industrial area to assess the more specific source of the potential pollution. In addition, monitoring by Russian authorities in cooperation with EuroChem, the owner of a fertilizer plant in Kingisepp has been carried out since January.
Present at the Meeting were the BALTHAZAR Project Manager from the HELCOM Secretariat, the Russian Project Partner St. Petersburg Public Organization “Ecology & Business”, and representatives of the research team Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Russian environmental monitoring authority Hydromet.
The BALTHAZAR project re-iterated the willingness to cooperate with EuroChem on the more targeted sampling in the vicinity of the industrial plant.
Interim results of the samplings will be presented in HELCOM LAND meeting on 10 May 2012. BALTHAZAR Project’s final report is scheduled for release in June.
The EU funded BALTHAZAR Project is managed by Helsinki Commission (HELCOM). Following the request by the annual HELCOM Meeting in March 2012, the Project has agreed with the relevant Russian authorities about the additional joint sampling programme for better understanding of the reasons behind the phosphorus findings in the area.
A SYKE researcher who works in BALTHAZAR’s Finnish-Russian research team was detained during an official sampling trip last week and the issue is being clarified by the Finnish authorities.
Information about the Luga River study can be found in:
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EU-funded BALTHAZAR project supports Russia in the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, including the improvement of pollution load data contributing to HELCOM assessments. One central measure is better management of hazardous and agricultural wastes by piloting environmentally sustainable management measures in the City of St. Petersburg, Leningrad Region and Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation. The Project is funded by the European Parliament Pilot Project Facility and managed by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) established at the HELCOM Secretariat.
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Community working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1972 HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.
The Finnish Environment Institute (also known as SYKE, after the Institute's Finnish acronym) is both a research institute, and a centre for environmental expertise. SYKE's research focuses on changes in the environment, and seeks ways to control these changes. Our expertise is based on long-term environmental monitoring, wide-ranging research results, and the Institute's highly-qualified staff.
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For further information, please contact:
Mr. Kaj Forsius
BALTHAZAR / HELCOM
Tel: +358 (0)46 8509212
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Ms. Johanna Laurila
Tel: +358 (0)40 523 8988
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645