On April 15, more than 30 residents of the Izhma district of Komi together with volunteers of the public movement StopOilSpills ("Don't flood me here") from Moscow and St. Petersburg took part in the ski race "Skiing against oil". It gathered people from five villages — Izhma, Gam, Mokhcha, Bakur and Sizyabsk. The participants of the race opposed the use of old oil pipelines (15 or more years old): frequent cause of oil spills in the north of the Komi Republic.
According to the Save Pechora committee, the ski race was not thought of as a sporting event, but as an "outreach intervention". Its participants stopped over in each of the five settlements of the route and talked with local residents about the negative consequences of oil spills. Pickets were immediately coordinated in four villages, but the Sizyabsk authorities refused to coordinate it. Later, activists challenged this decision in court.
The participants were wearing T-shirts with information about oil spills in three languages — Komi, Russian and English: "5 million tons of oil are spilled annually", "55 billion cubic meters of associated gas are burned by Russian oilers annually", "500 thousand tons of oil reach the Arctic annually" and others.
The race itself lasted more than four hours. Local residents put their signatures on the appeal to the regional authorities.
In this appeal, the residents of the Izhma district once again demanded to change the system of control over the state of the oil pipelines in Komi, according to the website "Aktivatika":
"Oil companies operating in the Ukhta, Sosnogorsk, Usinsk, Ust-Tsilma and Izhma districts of the Komi Republic are dishonest about preserving the environment: they hide emergency oil spills, do not change spent oilfield pipelines, patting rotten pipes. As a consequence, serious accidents are recorded on oil field pipelines annually. One of the main reasons is that the pipelines are operated above the deadlines and are changed with horrible delays. A significant part of oilfield pipelines is in the risk zone resulting from depressurization due to corrosion. And with each year the number of such pipelines increases. We demand that the deputies of the State Council of Komi review and adopt the bill prepared by the State Council deputy Oleg Mikhailov. The law will mitigate the complicated ecological situation in the Komi Republic."
A deputy from the Communist Party faction, Oleg Mikhailov, submitted a draft resolution on a legislative initiative on the prohibition of the exploitation of old oil pipelines. If the republican parliament adopts this decree on April 19, the initiative will be sent to the State Duma of Russia. Mikhailov believes that it is necessary to impose an express prohibition on the exploitation of commercial oil pipelines that reached their standard service life: steel pipelines — 10 years, corrosion-resistant — 15 years, pipelines with antirust coating — 25 years, steel pipelines with inhibitor protection — 20 years.
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Maxim Polyakov, «7x7»