I. Environmental protection during current economic activities
II. Environmental protection in dredging operations
III. Environmental protection in construction works
IV. Environmental expenditures
V. Environmental activities prospects
The FSUE “Rosmorport” Astrakhan Branch main aims in the field of environment protection are:
- decrease of the Branch's activities negative impact on the environment;
- implementation of federal and regional normative legal acts in the field of environmental protection;
- production control over the Branch's environmental activities.
The Astrakhan Branch carries out ecological activity in accordance with Environmental Action Plan, which is annually approved by the Head of the Branch.
To carry out ecological activities the Astrakhan Branch has an department that solves all the issues, connected with organisation of control over the Branch’s fulfilment of requirements and regulations established by the Russian Federation Legislation in the field of environmental protection, implements activities of production ecological control when carrying out Branch's statutory activities in the corresponding seaports.
All employees of the Astrakhan Branch engaged in those activities have necessary specialized education with degrees in environmental protection and rational usage of natural resources and also 3 years of professional experience.
I. Environmental protection during current economic activities
The environmental protection activities conducted by the Astrakhan Branch in the sphere of environmental protection during current economic activities are implemented in the following directions:
In order to conduct its statutory activities the Astrakhan Branch possesses permanent assets, which include stationary and mobile sources of air pollution. The latter include automobile transport and Branch’s vessels; stationary pollution sources include emergency and stand-by diesel-generator stations, energy wagons, tanks and storage warehouses for fuel and POL of the Astrakhan Branch.
In accordance with the requirements of the environmental legislation, the Astrakhan Branch has elaborated a project of guidelines on maximum allowed emissions of polluting substances into the atmospheric air. On the ground of this project the Branch obtained the permission to emit harmful substances (pollutants) into the air (except for radioactive substances) No. 7838/769 of 26.12.2017. The permission was issued by order of the Astrakhan Rosprirodnadzor Department No. 1621 of 26.12.2017, valid untill December 25, 2024.
In accordance with the requirements of the Order No. 509 of 11.10.2018 issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the Astrakhan Branch has developed declarations on the environmental impact of the objects of negative environmental impact, category II, for 4 objects:
- base on Zayzchy Island;
- Sections No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 of the Navigation and Hydrographic Support Service.
These declarations were taken into account by the Interregional Department of Rosprirodnadzor for the Astrakhan and Volgograd Regions.
Dynamic of emissions of hazardous (polluting) substances from stationary sources of pollution by FSUE “Rosmorport” Astrakhan Branch
There is an increase of atmospheric emissions from stationary sources of air pollution in the Astrakhan Branch due to the increase of the working time of power cars at sections No. 2 and No. 3 of the Navigation and Hydrographic Support Service of the Astrakhan Branch for climatic reasons.
The Astrakhan Branch carries out systematic production control over compliance with maximum permissible emissions into the atmosphere at sources of pollutant emissions with the involvement of a specialized organization.
Among the measures taken by the Branch to ensure cleanliness of the air is regulation of emissions of hazardous (polluting) substances from sources of pollution during periods of unfavorable meteorological conditions on the basis of the forecast information provided on a contractual basis by the Astrakhan Center for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring - Branch of the FSBI North-Caucasian Weather Control and Environmental Monitoring Service.
The Astrakhan Branch plans to continue regulating emission of harmful (polluting) substances from sources of pollution during periods of unfavorable meteorological conditions in order to reduce emissions of harmful (polluting) substances into the air, and to optimize the operation of all diesel-generator stations in the Branch which are used in case of disconnection of electric power, by shutting them down to cold reserve.
The Astrakhan Branch uses water bodies for realization of its statutory tasks for construction and dredging works in the water area of the Volga-Caspian Marine Shipping Channel (without withdrawal of water resources), and also uses water bodies with withdrawal of water resources for the needs of certain structural divisions of the Branch.
According to Russian legislation the Astrakhan Branch has made the following water use contracts:- water use contract No. 00-11.01.00.025-М-DKhIO-Т-2015-01999/00 of 09.11.2015 with the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Authority of Federal Water Resources Agency for the purpose of intaking (withdrawal) of water resources from a surface water body for drinking and domestic water supply, valid until November 18, 2035;
- water use contract No. 00-07.02.00.100-M-DZIO-T-2019-03642/00/19/256 of 30.05.2019 with the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Authority of Federal Water Resources Agency for intaking (withdrawal) of water resources from surface water bodies (region of the Caspian Sea, 117 km of the Volga-Caspian Marine Channel) for drinking and domestic water supply, valid until May 29, 2039;
- water use contract No. 00-11.01.00.025-M-DZIO-T-2019-03751/00/19/484 with the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Authority of Federal Water Resources Agency for intaking (withdrawal) of water resource in the area of 145 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal for drinking and domestic water supply of the Astrakhan Branch objects, valid until October 09, 2039.
There were also received:- decision No. 00-07.02.00.100-М-РББК-Т-2019-03631/00 of April 29, 2019, issued by the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Water Management Board of Rosvodresursy, granting enjoyment of water objects for performing dredging and other works that change bottom and shores of a water body (when storing the soil in underwater dumps during dredging operations) in the northern part of the Caspian Sea (112.3-179.0 km of the VCMSC): the eastern side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 112.3-114 km (Section No. 1), the western side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 114-150 km (Section No. 2), the eastern side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 136-150 km (Section No. 3), the eastern side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 157.55-179 km (Section No. 4), the eastern side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 123-136 km (Section No. 5), the western side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 150-155 km (Section No. 6), the eastern side of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal between 150-155 km (Section No. 7), with a total area of 9.5 sq. km. The decision is valid until November 30, 2027;
- decision No. 00-07.02.00.100-M-RPBK-T-2019-03829/00 of December 27, 2019, issued by the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Water Management Board of Rosvodresursy, granting enjoyment of the water object for using a section of the Caspian Sea for construction and reconstruction of hydraulic structures in the sections of the water area of the Caspian Sea: on the left edge of the channel (green) at 114.513-116.538 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective constructions No. 1), on the right edge of the channel (red) at 144.725-145.637 km; 145.903-147.038 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective constructions No. 2), on the right edge of the channel (red) at 147.748-148.350 km; 148.573-149.00 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective constructions No. 3), on the left edge of the channel (green) at 147.189-148.005 km; 148.233-149.000 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective constructions No. 4), relief passage for diverting water from the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal at 121.70 km with backwater (surge) from the sea. The decision is valid until December 29, 2027;
The Astrakhan Branch monitors the condition of water bodies and water protection zones with the involvement of a specialized organization, and sends annual reports to the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Water Department of Rosvodresursy. Besides, the Branch quarterly submits reports on the implementation of measures for protection and rational use of water resources at water bodies which are used by the Branch, as well as information resulting from volume metering of abstraction (withdrawal) of water resources from water bodies to the Nizhne-Volzhskiy Volga Basin Water Department of Rosvodresursy.
In the framework of annual ecological monitoring of condition of water bodies at the site of dredging operations at the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (before, during and after maintenance dredging works), bottom sampling is taken to determine the particle-size distribution, redox potential, pH, heavy metals and other components, the equivalent dose rate of gamma radiation in bottom samplings. The Branch annually conduct laboratory researches of bottom soil on containing halogen-organic compounds and their concentrations with respect to MAC, in particular, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs). It was noted on the base of the received reports, that performing maintenance dredging works at VCMSC not only does not have a negative impact on the surrounding water environment, but also in some cases leads to lowering of concentration of background pollutants in the bottom deposits.
No facts of contamination of water bodies used by the Astrakhan Branch have been recorded last year.
In order to prevent pollution, cluttering and clogging of territories used by the Astrakhan Branch, the following is carried out:
- timely conclusion of contracts with specialized organizations for removal and disposal of production and consumption waste generated in the Astrakhan Branch;
- equipment of places for temporary accumulation of production and consumption waste generated in the Astrakhan Branch in accordance with the requirements of environmental and sanitary-epidemiological legislation of the Russian Federation;
- monitoring of compliance with the requirements of environmental legislation of the Russian Federation when using the land by the property tenants of the Astrakhan Branch.
To correspond with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation in the field of forest areas use, the Branch also submits in due course a declaration on the use of forests and a report on the use of forests.
The Astrakhan Branch regularly performs activities aimed at reducing the impact of wastes, which are generated by the Branch's activities, on the environment. For this purpose the Branch has organized temporary storage of wastes, records of volume of formation and wastes management, control of regularity of its utilization (disposal).
According to the requirements of environmental legislation of the Russian Federation, the Astrakhan Branch has developed drafts on generation standards of hazardous waste and limits on its disposal. The Department of Rosprirodnadzor for the Astrakhan Region has approved the following on the basis of the standards:
- Order No. 346 of 08.05.2018, setting norms for waste generation and limits on its disposal in the Astrakhan Branch (Sections Olya and Bugor “Karantinniy”), valid until May 7, 2023;
- Order No. 1668 of 29.12.2017, setting norms for waste generation and limits on its disposal in the Astrakhan Branch (Sections in the city of Astrakhan), valid until December 28, 2022;
- Order No. 1556 of 20.12.2017, setting norms for waste generation and limits on its disposal (Sections No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 of the Navigation and Hydrographic Support Service), valid until December 19, 2022;
- Order No. 346 of 08.05,2018, setting norms for waste generation and limits on its disposal (Sections in the in the Astrakhan Branch, Limansky District), valid until May 7, 2023.
The wastes generated in the Branch are classified as I-V hazard classes. The proportion of waste of the first and second hazard class in the total amount of wastes of the Astrakhan Branch is 0.68%. In accordance with the established procedure, the Astrakhan Branch has concluded contracts with licensed enterprises for utilization and disposal of wastes generated by the Astrakhan Branch. In particular, the first and second hazard class wastes, such as mercury lamps, used fluorescent mercury-containing pipes and defects, used leaded undamaged batteries with non-fused electrolyte are sent to specialized enterprises where they are decontaminated and used in further production. The third hazard class wastes (used oil, used oil filters, contaminated with oil wiping material) are also sent to specialized organizations for disposal. Solid municipal wastes are transported to urban landfills for disposal, and sullage and fecal waters go to municipal sewage system.
Dynamics of waste generation of the Astrakhan Branch
The increase in volume of wastes generation in the Astrakhan Branch in 2020 is due to the increase in the number of sea-going vessels that have replenished the fleet of the Branch.
The Astrakhan Branch has developed and coordinated plans for the prevention of and response to emergency spills of oil and oil products (LARN) for FSUE “Rosmorport” Astrakhan Branch objects where the storage and use of petroleum products are performed (fuels-lubes storage of Section No. 2 of the navigation and hydrographic support service, Artificial island and fuels-lubes storage with a pumping station of Section No. 3 of the navigation and hydrographic support service, Nameless Island). Professional emergency response teams are involved on a contract basis in order to provide emergency preparedness, localization and mitigation of oil and oil products outflow at the objects.
The Astrakhan Branch also implements required actions to train the employees for getting practical skills in using technical means to eliminate emergency situations in various conditions. In particular, there are regularly held:
- exercises on the organization of the use of various technical means for isolating an emergency situation;
- comprehensive emergency training exercises in liaison with professional emergency response teams for elaboration of management, communication and interaction in the event of an emergency.
II. Environmental protection in dredging operations
The Astrakhan Branch rivets special attention to the environmental protection in conducting dredging operations.
In order to ensure navigation safety and maintain the stated depths the Astrakhan Branch is annually carrying maintenance dredging (bottom-cleaning) operations on the Volga-Caspian Seaway Canal, including the Astrakhan and Olya seaports water areas.
Maintenance dredging operations are conducted in accordance with RD 31.74.08-94 “Technical Regulation for Marine Dredging Operations” and with the existing norms and instructions regulating the rules for carrying out and accepting dredging operations.
At present, maintenance dredging operations on the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal are conducted by the Astrakhan Branch in accordance with a project for conducting maintenance dredging operations in the water area of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal for the period up to the year 2027 with the development of the environmental activity. The design documentation has received a positive conclusion of the Environmental Impact Assessment’s expert commission No. 13 of 28.02.2019, and this conclusion was approved by Rosprirodnadzor’s Department for the Southern Federal District Order No. 44/OD of 28.02.2019.
The Astrakhan Branch has obtained the following decision of the Russian Federal Agency for Water Resources Nizhne-Volzhskiy Basin Water Department for the period of conducting respective dredging operations: Decision No. 00-07.02.00.100-М-РББК-Т-2019-03631/00 of 29.04.2019 on provision of the right of enjoyment of the water body.
At the end of 2020, the total volume of excavated bottom soil amounted to 3.3 million cubic meters. The excavated soil was stored in shallow and deep-water dumps in accordance with the permit No. 175 M of 21.05.2019 issued by Rosprirodnadzor for burial of the bottom soil, dredged during dredging operations, in inland sea waters. The permit is valid until November 30, 2027.
In 2021, from April to November repair dredging works are carried out at the limiting sections 130.0-168.0 km of the Volga-Caspian Seaway Canal, among them:
- on the 130-155 km sections of the Volga-Caspian Seaway Canal by technical means of the Astrakhan Branch with the use of stationary reefer dredgers;
- on the 149.9-151.6 km section of the Volga-Caspian Seaway Canal by the means of a specially attracted contractor;
- on the 155-170 km section of the Volga-Caspian Seaway Canal by technical means of the Astrakhan Branch with the use of hopper bilge dredgers.
In order to ensure control over the impact of dredging operations on the Volga River environmental system, on its water passages, and on the Caspian Sea, and in order to timely reveal and prevent cases of exceeding permissible lecels of influence upon the environment, the Astrakhan Branch is monitoring the environmental situation by selecting specimens of seawater and the bottom soil, conducting chemical diagnosis of selected specimens in the areas of maintenance dredging (bottom-cleaning) operations and soil dumping. The monitoring program includes:
– hydrological and meteorological measurements of air and water temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, color and turbidity of water;
– selection of water specimens to determine pH, BOD5, mineralization, biogenic elements, the status of metal heavy and other components;
– selection of air samples to determine the status of CO, SO2, NO2, black carbon;
– selection of bottom materials to determine the texture, the oxidation-reduction potential, pH, heavy metal and other components;
– the power of equivalent gamma radiation dose in specimens of bottom materials.
Annually before, during and upon completion of maintenance dredging operations a specialized enterprise involved under contract conducts environmental monitoring. The results of monitoring of the state of water bodies where dredging operations are underway are provided to the division for supervision at sea of Rosprirodnadzor's Department for the Southern Federal District.
The received reports note that maintenance dredging operations do not negatively affect the water environment, but these operations lead to reducing baseline waste loads in bottom materials.
Under contract with Astrakhan Region's fisheries industries the Astrakhan Branch deals with young fish-farming for the release of fish in water bodies in order to compensate damage to water biological resources of the Volga Basin and the Caspian Sea in the course of maintenance dredging operations.
In 2010-2020 under the order of the Astrakhan Branch specialized aquacultural industries farmed and released 15.4 million young carps and 335.6 thousand young sturgeons in the Volga River and its water passage. The Branch spent 34.2 million rubles for these purposes.
In 2020 the Astrakhan Branch provided funding to farming and releasing about 2.4 million young carps and 3.3 thousand young sturgeons in the Volga River and its water passages. Last year the Branch's expenditures amounted to about 6 million rubles.
III. Environmental protection in construction works
In accordance with federal target programs and investment programs of the enterprise in the seaports of the Astrakhan Region the Astrakhan Branch as a client builder is implementing projects for constructing and reconstructing facilities of the coastal and port infrastructure.
Since 2004 to the present day the Branch has developed design documents on the whole infrastructure in strict compliance with the norms and requirements of Russian legislation in the field of environmental protection. In line with established procedures public hearings have been held. After the hearings project documents have been sent for the Environment Impact Assessment to receive a conclusion.
At present, the Branch has no capital investment projects in the Astrakhan and Olya seaports that are under construction/installation works. However, in the short term and in the mid-run the Astrakhan Branch is planning to implement the following investment projects:
– a project to build a base of the service port fleet in the Olya seaport for the purpose of integrated port service of vessels and terminals toward full development of the Olya seaport. This project, which is included in the federal target program “The Development of Russia's Transport System in 2010-2020”, envisages building a block of mechanical repair workshops with an administrative and service facility, a parking space, a boiler house, a unit self-contained transformer yard, a checkpoint, a platform for vessel winter storage, a warehouse, a petrol refilling point for vehicles, local sewage purification facilities, domestic sewage nets, rainwater sewage nets, a container platform for dry garbage, a balloon warehouse, pump stations, a stocks and equipment warehouse and a pressurization pump station. Following the results of the Environment Impact Assessment developed project documents have been received a positive conclusion approved by FAI “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia” No 018-15/ГГЭ-5349/04 on January 16, 2015. The documents correspond with the results of engineering surveys and meet the requirements of Russian urban planning and environmental legislation. If necessary funding is provided, construction/installation works are planned to be started in 2023.
- a project for the construction of a storm sewer system with receiving tanks for collecting and accumulating wastewater at the “Prichal Expluatatsionny” facility in the seaport of Astrakhan. The implementation of the project will allow to collect storm wastewater at the facility into storage tanks for their subsequent removal for disposal by specialized organizations according to the requirements of the environmental legislation. The developed design documentation and documents on assessing the environmental impact of the planned construction activities were presented for public discussions in due order. There were no negative remarks during the discussions (record of the public discussions of the Public Services and Amenities Department of the Municipal Formation “City of Astrakhan” Administration dated March 30, 2021). The design documentation has also received a positive conclusion from the Federal Agency for Fishery No. U02-2352 of July 20, 2021 on the permissible impact of the planned activity on aquatic biological resources, provided that the planned environmental protection measures are carried out. According to the established procedure, the developed design documentation is submitted for consideration by the state ecological expertise. In case of a positive conclusion of state examinations and with necessary funding, construction and installation works are scheduled to start in 2022.
- a project for the construction of protective structures for the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal at sections 106-135 km and 144.5-149 km. According to the project, it is planned to build 4 protective dams, made of soil dredged during repair dredging, with a height of 3.10 to 4.50 m with simultaneous installation of fish passages in separate protective structures. The dams will have total length of 11 km. At the same time, the project provides for the construction of an unloading canal to drain water from the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal at a section of 121.70 km with a complex of protective structures. The discharge canal will have length of almost 1.3 km, and the dams within its structure will have length of almost 2.7 km. The surface edges of the discharge channel are designed in the same way as the main protective structures. The construction of protective structures along the route of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal is carried out in order to reduce the cost of operating the VCMC, to improve the navigation conditions and the environmental conditions of the area by reducing the volume of dredging works. Protective structures will limit the flow of bottom soil into the channel bed from the adjacent shallow water area of the delta of the Volga River. According to the established procedure, the developed design documentation was considered and received a positive conclusion of the state ecological expertise, approved by Order No. 73/OD of April 4, 2019 of the Rosprirodnadzor Southern Federal District Department. The design documentation and the results of engineering surveys in accordance with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation were submitted for consideration to the North Caucasian branch of the FAI “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia”. However, after being considered, it received a negative conclusion of the state examination No. 30-1-2-3-002617-2020 of February 4, 2020, approved by the North Caucasus branch of the FAI “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia”, on the inconsistency of the results of engineering surveys and design documentation with the requirements of technical regulations and other established requirements in force on September 9, 2019 (date of receipt of project documentation for state expertise).
After finalizing the documents, taking into account the comments received, the design documentation and engineering surveys were submitted for consideration to the North Caucasus branch of the FAI “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia” once more. After the submitted documents being studies for the second time, a positive conclusion of the repeated state examination No. 30-1-1-3-0351-42 of July 29, 2020, approved by the North Caucasus branch of the FAI “Glavgosexpertiza of Russia”, was received, confirming the compliance of the results of engineering surveys and design documentation with the requirements of technical regulations and reliable determination of the estimated cost.
To carry out dredging works for the construction of protective structures, the Astrakhan Branch received a decision on the provision of a water body for use No. 00-07.02.00.100-M-RPBK-T-2019-03829/00 of December 27, 2019, issued by the Nizhne-Volzhsky Basin Water Administration of Rosvodresursy, to use a section of the Caspian Sea for the construction and reconstruction of hydraulic structures in the water area of the Caspian Sea: on the left edge of the channel (green) at 114.513-116.538 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective structures No. 1), on the right edge of the channel (red) at 144,725-145,637 km; 145.903-147.038 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective structures No. 2), on the right edge of the canal (red) at 147.748-148.350 km; 148.573-149.00 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective structures No. 3), on the left edge of the canal (green) at 147.189-148.005 km; 148.233-149,000 km of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal (protective structures No. 4), an unloading canal for diverting water from the Volga-Caspian Maritime Canal at 121.70 km with backwater (surge) from the sea, valid until December 29, 2027. Based on the positive conclusions received by the state examinations, the Ministry of Construction of Russia issued a construction permit No. 00-000-2926-2021MS of July 30, 2021, valid until November 30, 2022.
In case of necessary budgetary funding, construction and installation works are scheduled to start in October 2021.
IV. Environmental expenditures
Totally in 2020 the Astrakhan Branchspent about 18.8 million rubles for all environmental activities, including payments for the negative impact on the environment.
Dynamics of Astrakhan Branch Environment Expenditure
V. Environmental activities prospects
The Astrakhan Branch has set forth the following priorities in the field of environmental projects for the next few years:
- to reduce the negative impact on the environment by efficient use of natural resources consumed by the Branch and to increase the efficiency of collection and disposal of wastes, including by means of common use of secondary raw materials (recycled wastes);
- to reinforce industrial environmental control by economic areas of the Astrakhan Branch;
- to organize initial provision of integrated environmental services to vessels in the Olya seaport;
- to realize up-to-dated energy-saving and resource-saving technology;
- to realize operations aimed at modernizing stationary pollution sources (boilers) of the Astrakhan Branch by replacing one of the hot water supply tanks operating on diesel fuel for an advanced green electric boiler in order to reduce pollutant emissions in the course of boiler equipment operation.