Joint Sampling Starts in River Luga Next Week
13 March 2012, St. Petersburg, Russia – BALTHAZAR Project has today agreed on a joint sampling programme with Hydromet, so that the BALTHAZAR sampling in the brooks discharging to the River Luga and Luga itself, in Kingisepp, Russia, will take place every two weeks, cover four sampling points and start by 20 March 2012. The details on the additional sampling were decided on a meeting in St. Petersburg, to further investigate the high phosphorus findings last year and to complement the on-going samplings by Russian authorities and EuroChem, owner of a fertilizer plant located in the area.
Last week, the HELCOM Annual Meeting called for an intensive joint sampling in the Luga River in order to assess the load from the industrial area in more detail for addressing properly the source of pollution.
The progress and preliminary results on the intensified sampling programme will be reported in HELCOM LAND Meeting 9–11 May 2012. The results will be presented at the HELCOM Heads of Delegation meeting 14–15 June 2012.
The findings in late 2011 revealing a significant load of phosphorus in the Luga River to the Gulf of Finland was considered at the BALTHAZAR project Steering Group Meeting in January, 2012. The dialogue with the relevant Stakeholders, BALTHAZAR as the platform, has already been established. Click these links for a dedicated webpage and background documents.
The availability of comparable pollution load data for all coastal states is crucial for targeting the most cost effective measures to reduce pollution and combat eutrophication, and to meet the commitments set in the Baltic Sea Action Plan (2007–2021). As part of the overall efforts for implementing the Action Plan, the EU-funded BALTHAZAR project deals with building capacity in environmental monitoring and producing reliable data on pollution loads and sources in Russia. BALTHAZAR is coordinated by HELCOM Secretariat in cooperation with the Russian Partner, St Petersburg Public Organisation “Ecology and Business”, and together with the Russian Stakeholders, including responsible authorities and scientific institutions as well as international experts.
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Note for editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region.
HELCOM is the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more usually known as the Helsinki Convention.
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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
Mr. Leonid Korovin
St. Petersburg Public Organization "Ecology and Business"
P.O. Box 66
RU-197 342 St. Petersburg
Tel: +7 812 430 6860
Fax: +7 812 430 9305
Ms. Johanna Laurila
Tel: +358 (0)40 523 8988
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645