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  2. Journalists have made a top list of Russian cities with the dirtiest air

Journalists have made a top list of Russian cities with the dirtiest air

Elena Zholobova
"Say no to harmful emissions", "We decide what we breathe in", "We want clean air"
Photo by Ekaterina Vulikh
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The Proekt (‘Project’) Media Outlet have presented the results of a study of air quality in Russian cities The Country of Big Pipes. The Dirty Sky Over Russia Atlas. Journalists have analyzed the data on emissions of enterprises for the last five years, published on the websites of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage (Rosprirodnadzor) and the Federal Service of State Statistics (Rosstat), and made a top list of municipalities with the dirtiest air. The work is a response to the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; in March 2021, its presidium classified the report of scientist Igor Ptashnik on the deterioration of air in Siberian cities.

Proekt’s journalists found that although the National Ecology Project, which involves, among other things, reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere, was adopted at the end of 2018, it is not only that emissions were not reduced, but their level even increased in many municipalities in 2020.

10 cities with the dirtiest air, alongside the unchanged leader, Norilsk, include Novokuznetsk (Kemerovo Oblast), Cherepovets (Vologda Oblast), Nefteyugansk (KhMAO), Lipetsk, as well as Purovsky and Nadymsky Municipal Districts (YNAO). Novokuznetsk and Cherepovets are the only cities on this list where emissions have been reduced by any significant amount (more than 10%).

"The reduction in the remaining cities from the top 10 was either insignificant, or there was no reduction at all. At the same time, 2020 cannot be considered major in terms of emissions due to the pandemic and some enterprises’ shutdown," Proekt’s study says.

Journalists have made some separate tops of cities with a population of more than 50 thousand people based on the dynamics of air pollution between 2015 and 2020. 10 municipalities with the largest increase in emissions include Salekhard and Noyabrsk (YNAO), Tobolsk (Tyumen Oblast), Gubkin (Belgorod Oblast), and Mezhdurechensk (Kemerovo Oblast).

At the same time, Orenburg tops 10 cities that have managed to achieve a significant (more than 25%) reduction of air emissions in five years. Purovsky Municipal District (YNAO) and Vorkuta (Komi Republic) have also made a good showing.


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