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The Economic Baikal

Source:  Information is submitted by the Republic of Buryatia National Library after the book: Economic Activity Influence on the Natural Complexes of the Baikal Region // Ecological Problems of the Baikal and the Republic of Buryatia; Materials for the Round Table sitting The Baikal Is the Landmark of the World Natural Heritage within the framework of Buryatia Days in Moscow / ed. by V. Gulgonov and N.G. Rybalsky. Moscow, 1996. pp. 53-90.

1.The principal sources of influence on Lake Baikal ecological system
2.Economic activity effect on the Baikal region natural complexes


- the Baikalsk cellulose and paper making plant (industrial wastewater and air pollution)
- the industrial complexes of Ulan Ude, Selenginsk and other cities and towns of the Selenga river basin (industrial wastewater and air pollution)
- the Irkutsk hydropower station water reservoir (Lake Baikal level change)
- the Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo industrial complex (air pollution)
- wood storing companies (cutting down forests in the watershed)
- tourism, recreation activity, commercial and amateur utilization of biological resources, poaching
- towns, cities and populated areas on the shores of the Baikal (communal wastes)
- the section of the Transsiberian railway going along the southern coast of the lake (Kultuk, Slyudyanka, Baikalsk, Vydrino, Babushkin)
- the section of the Baikal-Amur railway going along the northern end of the lake (Severobaikalsk, Nizhneangarsk)
- agricultural companies (production wastes)
- interregional and global atmospheric transition of polluting substances.
Besides, the Baikal region urgent ecological problems are:
- ecological situation in the cities and towns (Bratsk, Zima, Sayansk, Usolye-Sibirskoye, Angarsk and Shelekhov)
- land pollution with toxic wastes around industrial works
- local radioactive pollution.


The Republic of Buryatia
 The Severobaikalsk industrial complex
 The Kyakhta industrial complex
 The Zakamensk industrial complex
 The Gusinoozersk industrial complex
 The Ulan Ude industrial complex
 The Zaigrayevo industrial complex
 The Nizhneselenginsk industrial complex
 Agricultural activity
 Forestation activity
The Irkutsk region
 The South Baikal industrial complex
 Negative influence of the Angara hydropower stations cascade
 The Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo industrial district
The Chita region
 The Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky industrial complex

The anthropogenous influence on the environment of the Baikal region is caused by the territories in the Republic of Buryatia, the Irkutsk and the Chita regions where economic activity is accumulated. A number of industrial complexes, transport roads, agricultural utilization and forests exploitation are distinguished among them.


The Severobaikalsk industrial complex

 The area of the industrial complex occupies a part of the territory of the Severobaikalsk district of Buryatia and is stretched along the Baikal-Amur railway. In 1974 the town of Severobaikalsk and the settlements of Novy Uoyan, Angoya and Yanchukan were built. The Severobaikalsk district became a huge construction site of the Baikal-Amur railway. The construction work started without adopted technical projects which were being constantly corrected. Many sections of the railway and motorways were being built without land allotment. Huge amounts of work destroyed the natural landscape. The Baikal-Amur railway construction lead to population growth in the region (from 6.5 thousand to 80 thousand). The populated areas were being built without preliminary construction of purification plants, slag and ashes dumps, dry litter ground etc.
 On the territory of the industrial complex there are 6 purification plants with the total capacity of 10.1 thousand cub. m per day, they belong to the Severobaikalsk railway department of the Baikal-Amur railway. In Severobaikalsk and the settlements of Kichera and Novy Uoyan the capacities of purification plants are lowered, because they were counted on the railway workers only. The purification plants are constantly overloaded; there are frequent emergency exhausts there.
 No existing plant provides wastewater cleaning in accordance with the standards of maximum allowable concentration.
 The industrial zone of Severobaikalsk including such objects as the locomotive depot, the carriage station, the boiling house, coal unloading grounds etc. are situated in immediate proximity to Lake Baikal (less than 300 m). There is no storm sewer there. The coast strip along the railway down the valleys of the Tyya and the Goudzhekit rivers, as well as the railway section Severobaikalsk – Nizhneangarsk is not ecologically protected.
 Wood storage is going on, 80% of it are taken out of the district.
 The principal polluters of the Severobaikalsk atmosphere are the stationary sources of “Nizhneangarskstroi” (the building organization), the transport organization LenBAMstroi, the asphalt and concrete making plant and 26 boiling houses. Only 3% of harmful substances are caught at those enterprises.
 The motor transport contribution into atmosphere pollution is about 26%. Harmful substances exhausts from stationary and mobile sources go up constantly. As a result air pollution right above the Baikal is becoming more intensive.
 Thus, on the northern coast of Lake Baikal a single zone of atmospheric pollution is being formed, stretched along the lake. Its area is about 100 sq. km for Severobaikalsk, and for Nizhneangarsk it is 26 sq. km.

The Kyakhta industrial complex

The area of the complex is stretched along the border on Mongolia within the triangle: Kyakhta – Naushki Khoronkhoi. After the restoration of the “Great Tea Road” from China via Kyakhta to Europe economic pollution of that transport centre will grow very much. The biggest polluter of the environment is the Kyakhta fluor-spar mine. It is situated near the station of Khoronkhoi of the Ulan Ude Ulan Bator railway. The mine includes the concentrating mill, the mining station, the transport department, the construction department and the power energy department.
 The main product of the mine is the fluorite concentrate.
 Every day the polluted wastewater (720 thousand cub. m) of the concentrating mill are thrown along the pulp-pipe into the tail depository where it is settled. The clarified water is pumped into the concentrating mill reservoirs and is used in the technological processes.
 The town of Kyakhta is one of the most polluted populated areas in Buryatia. The sources of surface water pollution are crude wastewaters of the Kyakhta quarters exploitation unit and of the spinning and knitwear mill, the crude and non-disinfected industrial sewage and domestic wastewater, disorganized storing of slags and boiling houses coal, domestic wastes of the houses in the water protection zone of the Kyakhtinka river.
 The industrial sewage and domestic wastewaters come to the biological purification plants with the project capacity of 4,000 cub. m per sec. The composition of the wastewater thrown into the Selenga river does not answer the requirements of maximum allowable concentration.
 The biological purification plants of the Kyakhta quarters exploitation unit and the Kyakhta spinning and knitwear mill are out of date and the quality of sleaning does not reach the necessary values.
 The level of atmospheric air pollution with nitrogen dioxide is a little more than the average Russian one.

The Zakamensk industrial complex

The area of the complex occupies the central part of the Zakamensk district on both banks of the Dzhida river. The basic plant is the Dzhida tungsten and molybdenum plant which works the Inkur and the Kholtoson complex ores deposits. For the needs of the plant and Zakamensk infrastructure mining and processing of limestone, volcanic slag, clays, sand and gravel are done. There is the concrete mortar complex, the lime department, the brick making plant there. The Bayangol power station provides them with power, open mining of the “Sangino” brown coal deposit is being done for it. at the area of about 30 sq. km the ecological situation is unfavourable.
The Dzhida plant is a polluter of all the environment components. Within the town of Zakamensk about 10 million tons of the concentration plant solid wastes (“sands”) are stored which contain molybdenum, tungsten, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur and occupy about one-fourth of the town territory. The accumulated concentration plant wastes drain different chemical elements from the tail depository into the hydro system and they are fixed many dozens of kilometres down the Dzhida river.
The products of ore processing from the Pervomaiskoye deposit are characterized by higher radioactivity (30-52 mcR/h).  The radiation background is up to 20-30 mcR/h, in the living houses – 27-35 mcR/h. In the sands, wastes of the Dzhida plant a solid area of higher radioactivity, from 25-40 to 50-62 mcR/h, is being formed along the valley of the Modonkul river, 7 km long. The sands fraction is enriched with ecologically dangerous elements and it occupies the whole housing area of Zakamensk as a result of scattering (especially in spring). In the area of the plant exceeding of maximum allowable concentration is observed: nickel 3-5 times, copper 1.5-3.0 times, lead 1.5-100 times, zinc 2 times, cobalt up to 3 times, stibium 20-100 times, manganese up to 2 times higher than the standard.
 The productive activity of the Dzhida tungsten-molybdenum plant leads to systematic watercources pollution. The negative influence on the Modonkul is made by the tail depository built without the bed and slopes screening. The filtering wells do not often work. The industrial wastewater from emergency basin and the drainage waters basin are overflowed into the Modonkul river. As a result copper ions are found in its waters.
 The plant is one of the biggest atmosphere polluters in the republic. The main sources of the atmospheric air polluting substances are: boiling equipment of hat power objects included into the plant: crushers, container conveyers, as well as technological equipment of repairing departments and brick making plant, the building materials department and concrete mortar complex; exhausts after explosion works in the quarries and ore processing dry tails stores. The total number of the sources producing polluting substances is 118; 50 of them are equipped with dust catchers.
  The concentration plants dust exhausts make up concentrations 1.7 times exceeding maximum allowable ones for populated areas by the border of the standard sanitary protective zone.
 At the deposits of Sangino 194,000 thousand cub. m of dumps and includign minerals are accumulated. The area of the destroyed areas is 1,135 hectares; 70 hectares are occupied by the dump.
 In general in the Zakamensk industrial complex in the town of Zakamensk a crisis ecological situation has been formed, which directly influences the state of health of the people living on the territory of the industrial complex and adjacent territories.

The Gusinoozersk industrial complex

 The area of the Gusinoozersk occupies the district of Gusinoye lake in the central part of the Selenginsk district. The centre is Gusinoozersk. The main industrial branches of the complex are coal mining and heat power energy. On the territory of the complex there is a serious ecological situation. The biggest environment polluters  are the Gusinoozersk mine, the Kholboldzhinsky open-cast mine and the Gusinoozersk heat power station.
 In the waste banks of the Gusinoozersk mine 72 thousand cub. m of minerals are accumulated. They are within the town borders and are the source of dust and gas exhausts. The area of the mountain drain is 350 hectares, 100 hectares of which are recultivated. In the Kholboldzhinsky open coal mine which is the biggest enterprise of the industry in the republic, 220 million cub. m of dirt are accumulated in the dumps. The area of the destroyed lands is 900 hectares, 45 hectares of which are recultivated, 620 hectares are occupied by dumps.
 The water protection situation is complicated. The purification plant does not work well. Throwing suspended substances into Gusinoye Lake is 3.4 times more than maximum allowable concentration, sulphates – 4.7 times more, iron ions 2.6 times more. 2,088 thousand cub. m of not sufficiently clarified waters are thrown into Gusinoye lake every year.
 Lake Gusinoye is still the only source of drinking and industrial water supply and the neighbouring populated areas. All the wastewaters are thrown there. One of the main lake polluters is the Gusinoozersk heat power station which uses the lake as a natural cooling reservoir, as a result of this it is subjected to heat pollution. An unfrozen patch of water measuring about 2 sq. km is formed on the lake in winter, the water temperature in the upper layer is 13-14˚ higher than the background one which is 1.5-2 times higher than standard. Thermal waters cause the processes of water weeding and changing the whole hydrobiological complex. Every day 15-16 thousand cub. m of not sufficiently clarified waters from the biological cleaning complex of the power station and the town, 2 thousand cub. m from the industrial settling tank, as well as 2 million cub. m of thermal water after the turbines having been cooled, are thrown into the lake. In the standard cleaned waters of the complex the content of suspended particles is 4.8 times more, of phenol it is 2 times more, and of iron it is 1.2 times more than maximum allowable concentration. Systematic observation and analysis show that throwing of oil products and sulphates from the industrial storm settling tank is with constant excess of the maximum allowable concentration.
 Thus, the biggest lake of the industrial centre, Lake Gusinoye, which is the main source of life supply, is included in the industrial circulation and receives all the wastewaters and storm wastes. Now it is constantly polluted and in the state of degradation.
 According to the Republic of Buryatia State ecological committee the amount of throwing harmful substances into the atmosphere from stationary sources and motor transport is 37 thousand tons a year, the Gusinoozersk heat power station is the main air polluter.
 Around the Gusinoozersk power station and the enterprises supplying it with coal there is a territory (with the total area of about 250 sq. km) of destroyed land, of harmful effect on the atmosphere and the lake.

The Ulan Ude industrial complex

 The Ulan Ude industrial complex is the biggest one by its population and territory. Within the city borders there are 67 industrial works and 36 transport companies with mobile sources of pollution, there are 162 boiling houses, including 112 industrial ones and 50 small heating boiling houses. All in all there are 6,043 sources throwing harmful substances into the atmosphere, 1,784 (61%) of them are equipped with dust and gas purifying devices. The main contribution into the pollution is made by the Ulan Ude heating plant – 41.9%, the aircraft making plant 12.2%, the glass-factory, the locomotive repairing plant, the meat processing factory, the instrument-making plant, small heating and industrial boiling houses, the individual residents’ stoves, motor transport and others.
 The average annual content of nitrogen dioxide, phenol and formaldehyde is higher than the Russian average figures.
 The sources of polluting surface and ground waters of the Ulan Ude industrial complex are not only industrial works, but also a number of settlements without the systems of city water-supply or sewerage system. Wastewaters formed in Ulan Ude are thrown through four waterways: by the right bank cleaning constructions belonging to “Vodokanal” lease enterprise into the Selenga river, by the left bank cleaning constructions, by the Ulan Ude heating plant-1 and by the Ulan Ude aircraft plant industrial association. The city cleaning constructions work at the breaking point. The problem of wastes utilization has not been solved yet.
 Insufficient cleaning of the industrial and communal wastewaters leads to the omul spawn dying in the principal spawning-grounds situated down the river.
 Nowadays there are 15 big and medium-sized dumps of domestic and industrial wastes. In the soil, ground waters and atmospheric air toxic substances are found: mercury, lead, zinc, iron, nickel, oil products, chromium, cadmium, copper etc. the common feature of the dumps and solid wastes storage places is the disorder, lack of protection from ground waters pollution, from being scattered, complete uncertainty about their amount and ecological danger for the environment and the population of the adjacent territories.
 There is no registration of non-toxic industrial wastes. There are no technological decisions on burying the heavy metals exhaust slags. Absence of places for burying and processing industrial wastes causes high level of ecological danger and conditions for concealing the facts of unorganized burying.
 The city of Ulan Ude as a big industrial centre is not only surrounded by numerous organized and unorganized city dumps, but there are also slag-heaps and quarries of mining companies which are specialized on extracting, transporting and processing of common non-ore building materials and are the base for building industry and its objects functioning.
 Within the city boundaries there is the Gryaznukhinsky aleurolite quarry for providing the Ulan Ude brick making factory with raw material. The area of the allotted land is 40 hectares. The productive stripping dumps are over 1,300 thousand cub. m. The area of the allotted land of the Zavodskoy sand deposit is the same, 700 thousand cub. m of stripping rocks are taken out and put into the dump. The quarry in the area of Zarechny belonging to the Republic of Buryatia building department extracts sand (75.8 thousand cub. m) and sand-gravel mixture (257.0 thousand cub. m).
 The development of building materials deposits in open quarries is accompanied by mass explosions, by transport means loading, by stone being crushed into road-metal and sand, by arranging dumps. Dust and gas are formed during the work. Their quantities are not registered in any documents.
 An urgent problem of Ulan Ude is population protection from harmful physical influence: noise, vibration and electro-magnetic fields. At measuring the noise levels in the houses situated along motor ways, tram and railway tracks the noise influence excess is registered up to 14 decibels.
 On the whole the ecological situation in the Ulan Ude industrial complex is unfavourable. Rivers and atmospheric pollution is going on. The suburban natural landscape is destroyed.
 The area of the Zaigrayevo industrial complex is close up to the territory of the Ulan Ude industrial complex, the mining and machine building works etc. are concentrated there. There the ecological problems are connected with the absence of recultivation of the destroyed lands and industrial wastes utilization.

The Zaigrayevo industrial complex

 The area of the Zaigrayevo industrial complex is close to the influence area of the Ulan Ude industrial complex. There mining enterprises, big wood cutting and wood processing companies and machine building objects are situated. Practically whole southern part of the Zaigrayevo district is included into the industrial influence zone.
 The biggest mining enterprise is the “Tatarsky Klyuch” quarry administration which exploits the chemically clean limestones of the Bilyutinsky deposit and the calcites of the Tatarsky Klyuch deposit. 150 hectares of lands, 128 hectares of which are destroyed with mining works, belong to the quarry administration. At an annual production of 370 thousand tons of chemically clean limestones and 3,000 thousand tons of cement ones, 3,200 thousand tons of rock mass are extracted, processed and transported.
 The limestone coming from the quarry to the crushing and sorting factory is littered with waste rock the quantity of which is 20-25 thousand tons a year.
 The second big mining enterprise of the industrial complex is the Mukhor-Talinsky quarry administration. 130 thousand tons of perlite are extracted there. 47 hectares of land belong to the quarry 25 hectares of which are destroyed with mining. 5,200 thousand cub. m of stripping and including rocks have been accumulated for the years of its existence in the quarry slag-heaps. In the special slag-heap 500 thousand cub. m of the passaging volcanic rocks have been put. 47 hectares of land are destroyed; 7 hectares are occupied by slag-heaps. There are no recultivated lands there. 
 3 km away from the district centre, Zaigrayevo, in the Zaigrayevo quarry administration 87.1 thousand tons of dolomites are extracted every year. 36 hectares of land are allotted to the quarry, part of which is destroyed with mining works. 640 thousand cub. m of stripping rock are accumulated in the quarry slag-heaps on the area of 4 hectares. The wastes are not utilized though the system of ravines is being expanded.
 Thus, nowadays the deposits development is not complex. The passaging rocks which are of industrial interest for different branches of economics are thrown into dump-heaps.
 In the area of the industrial complex there are big wood cutting industrial enterprises – the Chelutai wood cutting plant, the Khandagatai wood cutting plant and the Onokhoi wood cutting plant.
 The full-flow of all the 53 rivers of the district has decreased because of wood cutting, 17 of them dry up fully or partially in summer which is one of the signs of ecological disaster and a consequence of groundless forest cutting.
 Within the Zaigrayevo industrial complex there is a complicated situation now caused by the combined influence of economic branches on the environment components.

The Nizhneselenginsk industrial complex

 The area of the complex occupies the western part of the Kabansk district of Buryatia and is stretched along the left bank of the Selenga river. There are two big industrial centres there, Selenginsk and Kabansk. The main polluters of the environment, of the atmospheric air in particular, are the Selenginsk cellulose and cardboard making plant and the Timlyui cement plant.
 The sources of the atmospheric pollution with dust and gas exhausts are the shops and services of the plant, locomotives and transport. The amount of harmful substances thrown into the atmosphere from stationary sources is 10 thousand tons a year.
 The biggest amount of specifically harmful substances is thrown by the Selenginsk cellulose and cardboard making plant: 70 tons a year of hydrogen sulphide, 29.8 tons a year of methylmercaptane, and 0.37 tons a year of vanadium pentaoxide, 0.02 tons a year of serge acid, and 868 tons a year of hydrocarbons. 81.2% of hydrocarbons and 18.6% of hydrogen sulphide are caught of all the specifically harmful substances.
 Big quantities of sodium sulphate and small quantities of alumina and aluminum sulphate are the harmful and potentially harmful substances the use of which is envisaged in the production technology of the Selenginsk cellulose and cardboard making plant. In 1991 the plant wastewaters discharge was stopped because of the transition to the water usage circulation cycle.
 In Kamensk there are big building materials industries: the Timlyui cement plant, the asbestos and cement production plant, as well as the Baikalsk electric system and motor transport companies. The Timlyui cement plant influences the atmosphere in the worst way because of its solid wastes discharges.
 Down Selenginsk the influence of the nitrate nitrogen is found out. The purification constructions of the Timlyui asbestos and cement production plant throw the substances of the nitrogen group, sulphates and phosphates into the Timlyuika river. The discharge of standard clean waters (without cleaning) is stopped at the Timlyui cement plant.
 The principal component of the raw charge for cement production is the limestone which is extracted at the Tarakanovskoye deposit near Kamensk, as well as the loam of the Timlyui deposit. The influence of mining on the atmospheric air state has not been estimated yet. 19,000 thousand cub. m of opened and inclusive rocks are accumulated in the slag-dumps of the quarry. 925 hectares of land are destroyed by mining; 12 hectares of them are recultivated. The problem how to utilize a great amount of rock wastes is not solved yet.

Agricultural activity

 Agricultural activity is concentrated in the intermountain and intramountain cavities with forest-steppe, steppe and dry steppe landscapes. Chestnut soils prevail in the dry steppe zone, typical chernozems and meadow-chernozem soils prevail in the steppe zone. These soils have light granule composition (sands, sandy loams, light loams), low thickness of the eluvial horizon and low humus content, as well as very low structural water solidity, and they easily degrade being economically utilized.
 From 1950 to 1970 the area of arable lands in Buryatia had grown 400 thousand hectares, almost twice, and by 1985 it had been more than 1 million hectares in Lake Baikal basin. Such great growth of arable lands was caused by striving for the region to be provided with agricultural products, including grain crop. The quantity of agricultural animals was growing in proportion with the growth of agricultural areas.
 Ploughing up of virgin sandy lands, considerable growth of the total number of sheep and excessive loading of the pastures, violation of agricultural technologies in land utilization (utilization of the slope lands with the steepness of 60˚ for areas under crops) etc. lead to intensification of soil erosion processes.

 In connection with erosion processes the rivers carry out 2.5-3 times more small-grained soils into Lake Baikal, 3 million tons a year at the average. Leftovers of fertilizers, chemical pest- and weed-killers as well as other industrial wastes are brought into the lake with the small-grained soils. As a result of a broad scale soils erosion the soils have degraded at the expense of losses of humus supplies, biophilic elements (30-50% at the average), water-physical properties of soils and harvests in plant-growing have become worse, as well as cattle farming production. Another unconsidered active economic and organizational reconstruction of agriculture was started in 1985. It had practically destroyed the agricultural complex by 1993. Bigger part of the pastures and hayfields has degraded, the area of badlands has become bigger, and the total number of livestock has decreased.
 To raise the productivity of agriculture, to restore the soils fertility in the Baikal region the development of agricultural complex should be based on considering of specific natural conditions, soil and climatic first of all, as well as economic and social factors.

Forestation activity

 The main dangerous factors for the Baikal basin forests are fires, excessive forest utilization and low culture of wood storing.
 Within the last decade up to 40 thousand hectares of forests were involved in forest exploitation every year. More than 2.5 million hectares have been occupied with cuttings since the beginning of forestation.
 Commercial wood storage in the region within 35-45 years without observing the necessary ecological requirements lead to serious negative environment changes: to water balance violation (in dry years 38 rivers and streams dry out in the Pribaikalsky district, in the Selenginsk district about 30 streams dry out which flow into Gusinoye Lake from the Khmar-Daban mountain range); to erosion processes intensification (234 thousand hectares of former forests are affected by water erosion, about 300 thousand hectares of arable lands and pastures are affected by wind erosion because of cutting down of the surrounding forests); to Lake Baikal waters pollution with soils erosion products and with the organic substances washed from the fields; to the watercourse structure change into the surface one; to wood-cutting areas being littered with the cutting leftovers (up to 25% of the areas occupied with cuttings); to worsening of ecological situation and growing forest fires danger (up to 30% of wood is lost as insufficient cutting, wood left at the stumps, at the upper stores, or lost during transportation); to forest diseases and pests reproduction; to landslides and avalanches intensification.  
 In the Irkutsk part of Lake Baikal water protection zone clean cuttings are not performed (the coastal protection strip); in the Chita region the clean cutting was done on the territory of 5.1 thousand hectares (clean cutting – 87.6%); in the Republic of Buryatia 12.6 thousand hectares with the quota of clean cutting 82.5%.
 Modern woodworking industry is characterized by insufficient development of industries providing the complex processing of raw timber. Thus, 15.1% of the processed raw materials are produced by industries using wastes of timber storage and small timber.
 Wastes of sawmills and timber processing are used only for producing 13 thousand cub. m of technological splinter. The main part of timber storage, sawing and wood processing wastes is left in the cutting grounds, burnt in boiling houses or taken to dumps littering the territory and causing forest fires.
 The dust producing sources of all the forest industry companies of the region are not provided with gas- and dust catching devices, the wastewater cleaning activities are not performed. That’s why phenols, ethyl alcohol, dispensed salts, turpentine, oil and oil products get into open water reservoirs, and timber wastes dumps recultivation is beign performed near the village of Onokhoi.


The South Baikal industrial complex

 The area of this industrial complex occupies the south-western coast of Lake Baikal along the Transsiberian railway. There is a big centre of cellulose and paper making industry, Baikalsk, a big transport and industrial centre, Slyudyanka, and a number of settlements and railway stations.
 The biggest polluter of the environment is the Baikalsk cellulose and paper making plant.
 The “Pereval” quarry also discharges 243 thousand cub. m of wastewaters into the Pokhabikha river and to the landscape relief.
 Every year the station of Slyudyanka discharges 1,828 thousand cub. m of non-standard cleaned wastewaters into the Pokhabikha river and further to Lake Baikal. According to the result of the water thickness hydrochemical survey there is a pollution zone near the Baikalsk cellulose and paper making plant, the size of which changes seasonally because of different intensity of the self-cleaning processes.
 According to the data supplied by Ecological Toxicology Institute of the Russian Ministry of Nature the influence of the drainage from the plant territory is most prominent by the content of sodium ions and chloride sulphates. The effect is so significant that in the region the Baikal water is transformed from the carbonate-calcium group into the hydrocarbonate-sodium one. The drainage waters also influence the changes in pH, nitrogen chemical consumption, concentration of dissolved oxygen and mineral forms of nitrogen, especially in the ice period.
 Experimental research and observation of the Siberian Branch of Russia Academy of Sciences Limnological Institute, Biological and Geographic Institute Irkutsk State University and Petrozavodsk State University have shown that well cleaned industrial wastes of the Baikalsk cellulose and paper making plant, having been diluted 50 and 100 times, still preserve their mutagenous properties, having been diluted 10 thousand times, they cause changes in water organisms behaviour reactions, and therefore affect their vitality in the negative way.
 As a result of cellulose plant activity pollution of the South Baikal thickness waters with sulphates and chlorides is registered in the 100-metre layer.
 The plant discharges 15 polluting substances into the atmosphere, including hydrogen sulphide, dimethylsulphide, dimethyldisulphide, chlorine dioxide, methylmercaptane and turpentine. Plants Biology and Physiology Institute of the Siberian Branch of Russia Academy of Sciences estimates the size of the atmospheric discharges zone as 300-400 sq. km.


The degree of atmospheric pollution over Baikalsk is higher than the Russia average. The total maximum concentrations of mineral substances, sulphates, sodium nydrocarbonates and calcium are 14-34 times over the background ones.
The Baikalsk cellulose and paper making plant is located on the territory of the Slyudyanka forestry in the northern part of the Baikalsk forest area. In the plant discharges zone the standing forest becomes weaker and the secondary affecting factors (diseases and pest insects) become stronger under the influence of sulphur containing gaseous toxicants.
The cellulose plant dust- and gas discharges spread up to 160 km north-eastwards along the Baikal coast reaching the Baikal nature reserve territory, more than 40-50 km westwards as far as Slyudyanka and Kultuk. Raising 1,500-1,800 m these discharges spread down the slopes of the Khamar-Daban mountain range to the rivers valleys reaching the upper forest border, as well as the Baikal water area occupying the territory of more than 2 thousand sq. km. On the territory of about 600 thousand sq. km affected by dust- and gas discharges of the plant, dry tops of trees are registered, and on the territory of 160 sq. km the forests dry out. The territory affected by dust- and gas discharges of the Slyudyanka plant, the Gusinoozersk power station and others is about the same.
Besides the Baikalsk plant in the Slyudyanka district there are 15 enterprises together with movable sources (motor transport) which discharge 6.5 thousand tons of polluting substances, including 2.5 thousand tons of solid wastes, 0.3 thousand tons of nitrogen oxides and 0.3 thousand tons of hydrocarbons. The main contribution into discharges from stationary sources is made by three building materials enterprises (48.5%) and six transport companies (35.2%). The main pollution sources are the chimneys of small boiling houses using solid fuel. Less than 50% of polluting substances are caught by a number of works, whereas food industry works and transport companies discharge polluting substances into the atmosphere without cleaning them.


The town of Sludyanka is situated on the south-western shore of Lake Baikal, by its steep bend. The population is 21.1 thousand people. The main town industries are making building materials and metal working. There is one of big railway stations there, many small boiling houses and individual houses with stove heating. Motor transport is an additional source of air pollution.
The main sources of air pollution in Slyudyanka are building materials making plants (the “Pereval” quarry, the Slyudyanka mine administration and the asphalt and bitumen plant), boiling houses (59), individual houses with stove heating and motor transport (over 15 thousand). The total amount of polluting substances from stationary sources is over 8,500 tons a year, motor transport discharges 501 tons.
The Slyuduanka “Pereval” quarry extracts marble for cement production. Technological processes (blasting, drilling, rock mass loading and unloading, crushing and others) are accompanied with intense dust- and gas excretion. The average total discharge has been stable in recent years – about 4,500 tons a year, including 3,500 tons of dust a year. The enterprise is out of town, 2,500 m away from the town buildings.
The Slyudyanka mine administration performs open extraction of white and pink marbles. The enterprise has got 68 sources of pollution, including 20 organized ones, 15 of which are equipped with gas- and dust catching devices with 58.5% efficiency. The enterprise sections, the technological process of which is accompanied with intense dust excretion are located 3,000 m away from residential areas. The total discharge of polluting substances is about 650 tons a year, including 280 tons of dust a year. The asphalt and bitumen plant produces asphalt and concrete for road works. It is 1,500 m away from the town buildings. The total discharge of polluting substances is 17 tons a year, including 50% of dust.
The one time maximum discharge-weighted concentrations are 1.8-2 times over the corresponding maximum permissible one, the concentration of nitrogen oxides is 2.5-4.0 times over, and that of soot is 3.5-5.0 times over. Average month concentrations of these polluting substances are over the standard ones, which is especially characteristic of dust pollution. The area of pollution spread from Sludyanka is 20 sq. km, and 50% of the average annual discharge sediment on the Baikal.
According to the data of Ecological Toxicology Institute of Russia, a considerable contribution into the pollution of snow cover and Lake Baikal tributaries surface waters is made by the East-Siberian Railway (Slyudyanka-Vydrino section). The polluting substances come to the Baikal from the railway bed after snow thawing or being washed by precipitation.
Negative influence of the Angara hydro power stations cascade
 In 1959, after the Irkutsk hydro power station was put into operation, Lake Baikal transformed into an overyear storage reservoir. With the Angara regulated outflow its level regimen started to depend not only on climatic factors determining the amount of water coming into the lake, but also on the regimen of water escape through the Irkutsk hydro power station dam. So far as the water exchange of the Baikal and the Irkutsk water reservoir is considerably limited by the capacity of the Angara river source, the Irkutsk hydro power station exploitation regulations envisage the necessity to force the Lake Baikal level letting the floods of less than 10% provision.
 After the raise of the Baikal level the beaches were flooded, and the Baikal waves reached the terraces of its shores without obstruction. That is why even 10 centimetres of the Baikal raise intensifies the abrasion greatly.
 Besides intensification of abrasion another fatal consequence of the Baikal backwater is flooding and swamping of lands, the water reservoir flooded 123 thousand hectares, including       thousand hectares of agricultural lands. 141 populated areas proved to be in the flooded zone, including town areas. 8 thousand people, 171 individual farms, 631 collective constructions, 408 state offices buildings etc. were transferred to other places.
 In recent years the negative consequences of the Baikal level numerous raises have been active flooding and swamping processes of low coastal lands. The flooded zone in the deltas of the Selenga and the Upper Angara and within the coastal lands has reached the size of about 19,610 hectares for 32 years. Only in the Kabansk district of Buryatia about 3,950 hectares of agricultural lands were excluded of the circulation, 1,410 hectares of arable lands, 1,040 hectares of hayfields and 1,500 hectares of pastures among them; 450 hectares in the Severobaikalsk and the Barguzin districts. The level of ground waters in the coastal zone has risen because of the Baikal level raise; it has aggravated the agricultural lands swamping process.
 For 32 years of observations the strip of eroded and washed away shores has become 20-25 m wide in Maksimikha, 8.5 m in Katkovo, 13.9 m in Bezymyanka, 4.4 m in Turka, 20-25 m in Gremyachinsk, 20.7 m in Sukhaya, 7.6-10 m in Enkhaluk, 25.1-32.6 m in Oimur (the wharf), 19.6-24.0 m in Posolsk, 34.5-43.6 m in Povorot and 7.0-10.2 m in Nizhneangarsk.
 Washing of the shore terraces and destroying beaches caused active landslides, which endangered sections of the railway and motorways, communication lines, port and wharf structures, fishing factories and populated areas. The danger for the railway was real near the stations of Boyarsk, Pereyemnaya, Klyuevka, in the mouths of the rivers Malaya Osinovka, Mishikha and Bolshaya Yazovka. Considerable sums of money were spent to fortify them. Since the Baikal water level raise motorways (more than 36 km of the Barguzinsky motorway) and railway, communication lines and populate areas have been transferred many times from the shores erosion zone. 74 km of breakwaters and other protective constructions were put up along the Round Baikal railway.
 The Baikal level backwater at the dam of the Irkutsk power station caused a number of other negative phenomena. Particularly, the omul foodstock was seriously damaged and its total biomass decreased almost twice, its fatness, fertility and taste have also become considerably worse.
 The complex federal programme on the Baikal preservation envisages working out ecological requirements to the working regimen of the Irkutsk hydro power station and controlling the Baikal level changes which will allow putting up the scientifically grounded problems of the optimal working regimens choice.

The Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo industrial area

 The industries of that powerful economic district are accumulated in the cities and towns of Irkutsk, Angarsk, Shelekhov, Usolye-Sibirskoye, Svirsk and Cheremkhovo. It is the biggest industrial area in the Baikal region. It produces more than half of the total regional output. The district specialization is determined by the branches with high thermal and power capacity (aluminum, petrochemistry, machine building); building materials industry, timber industry, light and food industry are also important. The total contribution of the cities into air pollution (the quantity in the total region discharges) is 55.3%.
 The main polluters of the atmosphere are stationary sources of industrial wastes and motor transport. The considerable part of the discharges is concentrated in Angarsk – 29%, Irkutsk 13%, Usolye-Sibirskoye 6% of all the regional discharges. The biggest contribution is made by the enterprises of heat power engineering, chemistry and petrochemistry, cellulose and paper making industry and non-ferrous metallurgy.


 The industrial profile of the city is determined by heavy machine building, mica processing and agricultural raw materials processing (leather and food industry). Motor transport repairing, clothing and knitted goods industry, tea-packing industry and building materials production are also very important. The energetic base is the Irkutsk hydro power station, the first one in the Angara hydro power stations cascade. The established capacity is 660 kWt. Heat energy is produced by 5 heating plants and a lot of (more than 200) boiling houses. Heat power engineering is the main polluter of the city atmosphere. It discharges more than 40% of the total quantity of industrial atmospheric wastes.
 Observations show that up to 10% of discharges of Irkutsk (which is 60 km away from the Baikal) reach the lake; they are included in the inter-cavity circulation and sediment on the water of the lake or its coastal slopes. It is also approved by snow-measurement survey.


 Its industrial profile is determined by oil-refining and petrochemistry, building materials production (ceramic cement production etc.). Machine building, metal-working industry, clothing and food industries are developed. Not long ago the factory of vitamin concentrates made considerable contribution in the stressed ecological situation in the town. Now it uses only 30% of its capacity. Heating plants and boiling houses make up 70.6% of the atmospheric pollution. Their conversion on gas is being considered.
 The town discharges make up 28.7% of the total region discharges. The level of air pollution is high; the town is one of the most polluted in Russia. The main enterprises affecting the atmosphere are heating plants-1, 9, 10 belonging to “Irkutskenergo” organization, as well as the Angarsk petrochemical company. They produce 55.3% and 43% of the town total discharges respectively.


The main industrial enterprise is the Irkutsk aluminum plant. It was put into operation in 1961 with old technologies used. The Irkutsk aluminum plant discharges 77% of the total discharges from town stationary sources, the heating plant 5 produces 17.8%. These two works are the main polluters of the atmospheric air in Shelekhov. In general the air pollution level is very high. Average yearly concentrations of bensapyren 11.5 times, phofmaldehyde – 4.7 times, soluble solid fluorides 2 times and dust 1.3 times exceeded the maximum allowable standards.

 The main enterprise, “Khimprom” organization, is the first chemical one in East Siberia. It was put into operation in 1936. The plant produces more than 100 kinds of products: liquid chlorine, synthetic hydro-chloric acid, caustic soda of several types, silicon, organic liquids, vinyl chloride (ethylene is delivered by product pipe from Angarsk), polyvinyl chloride, epoxide resins, plastics etc.
 Another big town enterprise is salt factory. It produces about 300 thousand tons of high quality “Extra” class food salt.
 The industrial structure of the town is supplemented with machine building (mining machinery plant), timber processing and food and light industries. The town is also one of the most polluted ones in Russia, which is caused by considerable discharges from chemical works combined with unfavourable meteorological conditions which hamper impurities dispersion.
 The town discharges 5.9% of the total region amount. The main quantity of stationary sources discharges is produced by “Usolkhimprom” association – 47.3% and by heating plant 11 46.4%.


 The biggest accumulator plant of Siberia is located in Svirsk; it pollutes the atmosphere, vegetation, soils and waters with lead. The main production of the plant is lead storage batteries, galvanic elements and other electric current sources.


 The industrial profile of the town is determined by coal mining industry which has been developed since 1988. Until 1939 coal had been mined only underground, in early 70’s open mining was started. The second place in industrial production is taken by machine building and metal processing. The main enterprise is the heavy machine building plant which produces mining equipment. The industrial structure of the town is supplemented by building materials production and agricultural raw materials processing. Heat power engineering is represented by one heat power station, the main atmosphere polluter together with transport and heavy machine building plant.
 Contradictory conditions for mixtures dispersion are formed in December and April in South Pribaikalye (Baikal Land). In December Asian anticyclone intensifies. The greatest contribution in atmosphere pollution over the South Baikal is made by the Baikal cellulose and paper making plant and Slyudyanka enterprises exceeding the one time maximum permissible concentrations. The influence of the Irkutsk-Ceremkhovo complex on the atmosphere over the South Baikal is much smaller and it does not exceed average day concentrations for solid impurities thrown into the atmosphere.
 To estimate the influence of the Irkutsk-Cheremkhovo industrial district on air pollution of the Baikal area and the territories east- and northeastwards from the lake, it is necessary to organize special complex work.


The Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky industrial complex

 The main polluters of the atmosphere and water resources are Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky, the Tigninsky coal mine and the railway complex. The Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky metallurgical plant throws dust, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon into the atmosphere. The discharge of benzopyrene 10 times exceeds the maximum admissible concentration. The plant discharges spread on the territory of almost 15 sq. km.
 The water resources utilization in the Chita section of the Baikal basin is still not rational. Mostly ground waters make up the main part of the used water resources, including industrial usage. Two watersheds are included in the Baikal water protection zone, those of the Khilok and the Chikoi rivers, the main parts of which are in the Chita region. The Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky metallurgic plant and the meat factory throw the biggest amounts of polluted wastewaters into water objects.
 Ammonium nitrogen, suspended substances, iron, oil products, nitrites and nitrates are distinguished among the polluting substances in the wastewaters.
 Waters from irrigation systems influence the environment in a negative way, as well as waters from the fields where regulations of applying mineral fertilizers are violated.
 Most communal enterprises do not have purification constructions. All this leads to throwing uncleaned wastewaters into water objects.  



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