At the end of May, a diesel storage tank at a Russian power plant leaked 150,000 barrels of fuel into local rivers.
This comes as such a destructive spill that authorities say it could take up to nearly a decade to clean.
The Norislk spill is estimated to have released more than half as much petroleum as the Exxon Valdez tanker accident, which released about 260,000 barrels of crude oil in Alaska in 1989, and the recent spill has been called the Arctic’s worst-ever environmental catastrophe.
What caused the tank to burst? No one knows that just yet but who can put that past 2020! Everything just seems to be going wrong. Maybe the thawing of the permafrost which is caused by our common foe climate change may be the culprit.
Last Tuesday, the spill reached Lake Pyasino River and then made it’s way into the Arctic. A local nature preserve is also being threatened with contamination by the spillage.
Hopefully, officials say that the diesel spill will evaporate instead of sink as it is lighter than crude oil. However, it will cause many toxic problems to clean up and could pose a negative impact on the environment in the coming years.
The Russians aren’t known for their positive environmental display, but they also admit that the recent abnormally warm temperatures in the area could have played a factor in the bursting of the tank.
Furthermore, President Putin declared a state of emergency in early June. The incident has been described the second largest oil spill in modern Russian history, after the 1994 Komi pipeline spill.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a state of emergency was needed to call in more resources for the cleanup effort.
Nearly 700 people are involved in the massive clean-up.
Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head