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New criminal case launched against ‘Norilsk Nickel’ employees for environmental damage

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case for the violation of environmental protection laws over the dumping of wastewater from the Talnakh Concentrator Plant into a river in Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Krai.

The case was launched against a group of unidentified employees from “Norilsk Nickel” (the plant’s owner and the world’s largest industrial producer of nickel and palladium) and the company “Mekhanobr Engineering.” Untreated sewage from the plant was discharged into the Tomulakh River between June 2017 and July 2019, the Investigative Committee reports.

According to the investigation, the wastewater discharge resulted in more than 154 million rubles ($2.2 million) in damage to the surrounding environment.

At the end of May 2020, a 21,000 ton diesel fuel leak at a heat and power plant run by a Nornickel subsidiary in Norilsk caused an environmental disaster in the Russian Arctic. Several criminal cases have been opened against the plant’s directors and employees in connection with the accident. Nornickel is planning to pay for the cleanup in full, and estimates that the costs will exceed $146 million.

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