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Meeting with Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin

May 20, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin. The Minister briefed the President about the implementation of the Environment national project.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Kobylkin, the Environment national project has several parts, I would even say many parts – as many as 10–11.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin: Eleven.

Vladimir Putin: Please tell me how the work is proceeding.

Dmitry Kobylkin: Mr President, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has begun the implementation of the Environment national project, which comprises 11 federal projects. We divide them into five groups: these are reforms regarding municipal waste, as well as water, air, biodiversity and the best available technology; the latter is incorporated into the entire project.

This year, under the Clean Country programme we began remediating 48 landfills. In all, by 2024, we will remediate 191 of these located within the city. This job is proceeding as scheduled. We also plan to build 220 rubbish sorting and processing facilities. We have already selected 20 projects and are working on them, and I think we will begin financing them by the end of the year. Also by the end of this year I think we will select 80 more facilities to lay the groundwork for the next year.

As for the Water section. We have the grand Volga River and there are 60 million people who live close by it. Of course, we are overhauling a huge number of facilities, including those for wastewater treatment; 80 percent of them are is disrepair. This programme is underway along with the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Utilities, and I believe this is one of the most difficult projects. The job is complex, but we will try to do it.

Vladimir Putin: Problems have been accumulating there for years.

Dmitry Kobylkin: Yes, for a very long time.

Vladimir Putin: And some of them are quite costly.

Dmitry Kobylkin: We will also work on the biodiversity and replenish the Volga River with species of fish that used to inhabit the water.

Concerning our unique lakes, such as Baikal – you know that a lot of serious problems have accumulated there. We are yet to remediate the Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill, deal with the sludge tanks that are in a poor condition and are, of course, threatening the environment of Baikal. A trial operation is currently underway and we are now testing out technology; I believe that next month we will have selected the technology and the remediation process will be up and running.

Mr President, if you recall, you and I once discussed the facilities in a very poor condition, such as the Igumnovo, Chernaya Dyra and Beloye More landfills located in the Nizhny Novgorod Region that were subject to remediation as well.

I would like to tell you about this. Of course, the local authorities are carrying out a great deal of work, one has to commend Governor Nikitin on his efforts. As of today, I can say that the Chernaya Dyra project is highly likely to be completed somewhere around November or December this year, I think.

The technology is not easy, it’s complex. First, we take the liquid component, separate it, mix it with sand, then take it for thermal treatment – first bringing the temperature up to 350 degrees, lowering its class of hazard, and then bringing the temperature up to 1,200 degrees again. The obtained refuse burnout is of almost fifth class of hazard. The equipment is mainly Russian, it passed the expert review; this site is highly likely to have been remediated by the end of the year.

We are also working on the Beloye More project. I hope that this job will have been carried out by the first quarter of next year.

There was a landfill called Igumnovo in the Nizhny Novgorod Region as well; it was 100 hectares large and 44 metres high. Passive degassing is now underway there; the gas is being flared, this work has already taken place. We are now protecting the slopes and carrying out the filtering and disinfecting work. In general, all three facilities will have been dealt with.

I hope that already next year we will be able to start working on the Krasny Bor project [landfill remediation project in the Leningrad Region]. This year, we will sign the project development agreement, get the project and start implementing it next year.


May 20, 2019, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region