Thanks to Minsk Negotiations Repairs Started at Phenol Plant in Toretsk
Within the framework of meetings of Trilateral Contact Group on Peaceful Conflict Resolution in the East of Ukraine (TCG), the issues of preventing accidents of technogenic and ecological nature, including at Phenol Plant (LLC "RPA "Inkor andСo"), was raised repeatedly. Phenol plant is located near the contact line in village of Novgorodske near Toretsk, Donetsk oblast. The main type of the plant’s production is lime, phenol, orthocresol, dicresol, tricresol, xylenol, naphthaleneand combustible mixtures, etc.
Ecological legislation of Ukraine provides for constant environmental monitoring of objects like the Phenol plant, in particular air emissions levels, discharges into reservoirs, and soil condition. Due to impossibility for specialists to access certain objects of the enterprise for sampling water and soils, such complex monitoring was impossible because the objects are located 3 km from the contact line in the mined area.
Due to the location of the industrial facilities of Phenol Plant (production site, 1st and 3rd line waste-ponds) near the contact line, the plant is continuously shelled by illegal armed groups, so there is a constant risk of damage to the plant and the destruction of containers with hazardous chemicals. Due to damage to the dam of the 3rd line waste-pond and the drainage pipeline, liquid level in the reservoir has reached a critical point and may cause a dam to break, which may lead to poisonous mudslide into Kryvyi Torets River.
According to expert estimates, in case of failure to take necessary measures, the area of chemical pollution will be no less than 20 km2, thousands of local residents can suffer; soils, underground and surface waters will be contaminated. There is a risk of atmospheric air pollution with vapors of phenol, naphthalene and other toxic substances. In the event of chemical waste entering Kryvyi Torets, normative indicators for carbonates, resins, oils and acids will be exceeded.
Representatives of OSCE SMM, Donetsk Military-Civil Administration, SESU and the General Staff for the Armed Forces with coordination of MTOT were involved in addressing the environmental situation and repairs of damaged plant facilities.
At the meeting of Trilateral Contact Group on Peaceful Conflict Resolution in the East of Ukraine in Minsk, agreements were reached on "silence" regime for the time of dam and drainage pipelines repairs, as well as on OSCE SMM "mirror patrols". Security guarantees are provided until November 26, 2018, but the works should finish sooner.
Thanks to Minsk negotiations, on October 3, repair and restoration works of damaged and potentially dangerous plant objects started. At present, there are ongoing drilling operations on the perimeter of the waste-pond (as of today, 2 out of 12 wells drilled) the observation wells, from which groundwater samples are taken to monitor the ecological situation. On the existing waste-pond, drainage pipeline was extended by 30 meters. In addition, works on the repairs of damaged dam started - 180 m3 of clay were delivered.
The Ministry keeps the situation under constant control and will inform about the work progress.