29 October 2018

VIZ Steel will construct a park at the area of the liquidated waste deposit.

Public hearings took place at the Ekaterinburg Administration to review the project that includes decommissioning and reclamation of a waste disposal facility of VIZ Steel (NLMK Group).  Participants of the Public Hearings unanimously approved the plan for reclamation of the disturbed lands at the production site area that previously were used to store Sovtol.

The sovtol storage was created at the site in 1995 as no licensed technologies for PCB entities processing for storage of waste transformer and synthetic oils were available at that time.  Waste storage was performed based on the licence and in compliance with the environment protection legislation.

In 2008, the up-to-date process for PCB entities processing appeared and VIZ Steel became one of the first companies in Sverdlovskaya Oblast that launched a programme aimed at sovtol utilization.  By September 2017 100% of the chemical wastes that were stored at the area in the amount of 995 tons were transferred by the Company for neutralization to the licensed and competent organizations.  

In January 2018 the storage was decommissioned, in August it was excluded from the State Register of Waste Disposal Facilities. The survey performed to estimate condition of soils and ground water showed no negative impact on environment.

Despite of the above VIZ Steel decided to start reclamation of the former storage area.  The area of 2,310 m2 would be stripped of the asphalt and topsoil, the bottom layer would be levelled and covered with vegetable soil and planted with perennial grasses, rowans, spruces and ornamental bushes.   Implementation of the project would be started upon completion of all approval procedures stipulated by the legislation and obtaining of a conclusion made by the State Environment Expert Office.

Sovtol was used as a dielectric for transformers production in the USSR.  It contains poly chlorinated diphenyls (PCB) that belong to the category of hazardous chemical substances.  To date no PCB are produced in the world.  In 2011 Russia had ratified the Stockholm Convention. To comply with the above no equipment with sovtol shall be used after 2025 in all countries, and by 2028 all stored sovtol shall be utilized.