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© Konstantin Mikhailov

Coastal habitats like these may be at risk if the planned oil terminal is built near the Dalnevostochny Morsky Marine Zapovednik.

News Alert

December 2005
The Primorye Arbitrational Court reopens case demanding independent environmental assessment of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline and terminal.

The Federal court of the Russian Far East Region overruled the decision of the Primorye court to close the lawsuit brought by the Russian Far Eastern Interregional Ecological NGO “Green Cross” against the Transneft oil company, Russia ’s oil pipeline monopoly. The NGO is demanding that Transneft carry out an independent environmental assessment for its large-scale project to build the longest oil pipeline in the world, originating near Lake Baikal and ending in an oil terminal on the coast of Primorye in the Pacific Ocean. Now as a result of the November 2005 decision, the regional courts will have to reopen the case.

At the same time, the Vladivostok court continues to review a lawsuit of regional environmentalists, who are demanding annulment of the decree of the Technical Oversight Committee of the Russian Federation to go forward with designing and building the oil pipeline and terminal in Perevoznaya Bay of Khasansky District in the Primorye Region.

Environmentalists in Primorye have been protesting plans to locate the “Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean” oil terminal in the Perevoznaya Bay in southern Primorye since the project’s inception. The major argument against locating the future oil terminal here is proximity of two biosphere reserves: Russia ’s only marine zapovednik – Far Eastern Marine (Dalnevostochny Morskoy) and one of the regions oldest zapovedniks – Kedrovaya Pad, as well as the Barsovy Federal Sanctuary (zakaznik). Scientists in the Russian Far East have developed several alternate options for locating the terminal in sites that would pose less danger to important biodiversity in the region.

Near its origin, the pipeline will pass only 800 meters from Lake Baikal, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The end terminal would be located on the Perevoznaya Bay, in southwestern Primorye – home to the highly endangered Amur leopard, which numbers no more than three dozen. Environmentalists argue that it would be very difficult to design a more damaging route for the 4,200 km pipeline. The southern Primorye Region has one of the highest densities of protected areas in Russia. The coastal region is Russia 's second most popular tourist destination (after the Black Sea coast). The local governor of Primorye and the head of Transneft have lobbied heavily for the site in order to avoid building the terminal near the industrial port of Nakhodka, where oil terminals controlled by other companies already exist.

For more information on the Stop the Pipeline Campaign go to http://www.amur-leopard.org/campaign7.htm (English)

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