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Battle for the reserve
The construction of the terminal for the export of LPG threatens the "Cedar Pad" in Primorye
In the south of Primorye, Vostok LPG plans to build a terminal for the export of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). They intend to create production near the borders of the Kedrovaya Pad reserve, which is included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The public and scientists are opposed to such an arrangement of the complex, since the proximity of an industrial facility can harm all inhabitants of a specially protected area, including the rarest predators - the Far Eastern leopard and the Amur tiger.
Vostok LPG LLC initiates the construction of a terminal for LPG export on the coast of the Sea of Japan in Perevoznaya Bay, Khasansky District, Primorsky Territory. Raw materials are planned to be exported to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Design capacity will be one million tons of products per year. At the same time, the numbers will grow in the future. The structure of the project includes: an offshore terminal, a product pipeline, a distribution center, and remote loading devices. The construction of an offshore terminal and infrastructure is planned to be completed by 2021.
There is something to protect
Scientists and the public did not like the plans to build a terminal near the protected area. 80% of the entire Khasan region in the south of Primorye is specially protected natural areas. There, on the border of Russia, China and North Korea, there is a maximum concentration of fauna in all of Northeast Asia.
The Kedrovaya Pad reserve, created in 1916, is one of the oldest nature reserves in Russia. It is included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, created as part of the UNESCO “Man and Biosphere” program. The reserve is inhabited by the rarest Amur tigers and Far Eastern leopards, the protection of which is of international importance. There are more 50 Red Book plants, animals, birds, fish and insects. The reserve became part of the federal state budgetary institution (FSBI) “Leopard Land”, created in 2012 to preserve the rarest Far Eastern leopards.
Harmful and scary
According to the adopted procedure, the company presented the project materials to the public hearings in the spring of 2019, which did not take place. According to public figures, the documents submitted by the company did not include an environmental impact assessment (EIA), coordination with water users, environmental and environmental surveys were not carried out in the marine waters of the Amur Bay, damage to aquatic biological resources was not assessed, and there was no action plan for compensation for damage, archaeological surveys and more were not carried out.
As EastRussia was told at the Leopard Land FSBI, the project was not agreed with the directorate of the specially protected area. They managed to get acquainted with him only on the eve of public discussion. Leopard Land sent an official letter to Vostok LPG LLC with a proposal to consider a number of comments that must be taken into account when assessing the possibility of placing this object.
Scientists point out that the documentation does not address the issue of possible negative impacts on the reserve’s ecosystem. So, to analyze the distribution of pollutants emitted during the operation of the facility, a wind rose was used according to weather stations located in Vladivostok. At the same time, in the village of Barabash, the closest to the reserve, there is a station with relevant data.
“According to the results of many years of observations in the reserve, the main direction of air flows for most of the year is the north-west. Consequently, all pollutants released during the operation of the facility will be “drawn” into the valley of the Kedrovaya River by flows of air masses, i.e. to the reserve, ”say experts at the national park.
First hazard class
In their opinion, the possible impact on the animal and plant life of the Kedrovaya Padi has not been evaluated, while the long-term dens of the Far Eastern leopard and badger fortifications fall into the zone of predicted "smell" pollution. Part of the projected complex is located in the water protection zone of the Kedrovaya River, which flows through the reserve and is the site of salmon spawning. In accordance with the Water Code of the Russian Federation, the placement of chemical, explosive, toxic, poisonous and toxic substances is prohibited within the boundaries of water protection zones. The project does not provide for an alternative location for the complex.
In accordance with SanPiN, the facility belongs to the first hazard class, the regulatory sanitary protection zone is one thousand meters. The nearest residential development is located at 120 meters. Thus, the location of the facility for transshipment of LPG in the immediate vicinity of the residential area and the specially protected natural area and contradicts the requirements of sanitary standards.
The main pollution, according to scientists, is caused by equipment discharge candles (gas bleed), discharge, purge, waste, sampling and drainage devices, emissions during routine maintenance of tanks. During normal operation of the enterprise, 17 pollutants are emitted. The main contribution to the level of air pollution is made by propane, butane and a mixture of natural mercaptans. The unpleasant odor from substances can spread to settlements. The location of the object in the village and near the borders of the reserve leads to the fact that the kilometer sanitary protection zone is not respected in any direction.
According to scientists from the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Perevoznaya Bay, where the terminal is planned to be built, is a natural nursery for trepang. Also, in the water area, larvae and juveniles of salmon fish cannot grow and develop normally, rare migratory birds nest.
Also, specialists from the laboratory of marine landscapes of the Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences conducted special studies that proved that it is dangerous to build port facilities in this bay due to strong winds, waves and shallow water. The results of these studies more than five years ago became one of the grounds for the transfer of the designed end point of the ESPO pipeline from Perevoznaya to Kozmino Bay.
The topic caused a stir in the local media. As a result, the project was not discussed. Hearings were postponed due to lack of space in the room, hundreds of people could not get into the room designed for 20 people.
At the invitation of the management of Vostok LPG LLC, this summer a meeting was held with the directorate of the national park. The management of the company recognized that it is necessary to conduct additional work on the examination of the possible impact of the construction of the facility and its work on the ecology of the Kedrovaya Pad reserve, as well as working out the issue of minimizing this impact. "Land of the Leopard" has proposed to involve the institution’s specialists in these works. So far, the company has not addressed the services of the institution on this issue. Since the summer, no information has been received from them.
The question was also raised during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the public at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in early September 2019. He was raised by the head of the investment support center of the regional branch "Support of Russia", the head of the fund for supporting civil initiatives "Rus" Dmitry Tsarev.
“The first concerns a problem that we still haven’t solved due to the constant attempt to start large-scale industrial construction almost across the road from the Kedrovaya Pad reserve. Initially, it was a plan for oil transshipment. Thank God environmentalists and the public moved to Kozmino. Then large LNG, multi-million dollar. It seems that God took it away. Now - LPG. Storage of gas pipes. But one cannot do it there, the reserve is literally there! ”, The Tsarev told the president.
Vladimir Putin at the meeting asked a number of clarifying questions, and following its results he ordered the government to submit proposals for the protection of the specially protected natural territories of the Far Eastern Federal District, including the Kedrovaya Pad State Nature Reserve and the Leopard Land National Park from harm that could be caused the natural ecological system of these territories during the implementation of large industrial projects.
Relocation and new status
Experts offer several options for protecting the reserve from the possible influence of the terminal. The main one is the transfer of the project to the Danube Peninsula.
“There, from the Ussuri Bay, in the area of Bezymyannaya Bay, there are vast free areas. In the coastal zone there is a freshwater pond, there are automobile and railway lines, a powerful power line. Non-freezing marine area with favorable hydrology allows you to create
well-protected deepwater pier at Cape Golom. Wind rose is favorable for oil and gas production and port activities. On the peninsula there are a number of depressed settlements with free skilled labor. This position is widely supported by scientists from the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the population of the Primorsky Territory, ”the Tsarev’s accompanying note was handed over to the president.
Also among the proposals: to give Perevoznaya Bay and adjacent territories the status of the Primorskaya Fisheries Conservation Zone.
“The proposal is to make the bay itself, adjacent territories a specially protected area, and then the problem will disappear. And we solve two problems. On the one hand, we preserve the natural day nursery for trepang, which is the national pride of the Primorsky Territory, on the other hand, we make it impossible to build all oil and gas processing terminals, which will make our reserve safe, ”said Tsarev.
The idea of expanding the security zone of a specially protected area is supported by the national park directorate.
“We hope that the President’s order will assist in our work to expand the conservation zone of the Leopard Land National Park and the Kedrovaya Pad Reserve. This will make it possible to control and prevent the construction of industrial facilities in the security zone that could damage the protected areas. I am sure that this is also in the interests of all nature reserves and national parks of the Far East, ”said Victor Bardyuk, director of the national park.
"Land of the Leopard" is preparing a package of documents to create a protection zone "Cedar Pad". The projected object is planned within the boundaries of the planned conservation zone of the reserve, intended, according to the law, to prevent adverse anthropogenic impacts.