Khabarovsk has clean water despite benzene slick

23 December 2005 08:38  [Source: ICIS news]

MOSCOW (ICIS news)--The Russian city of Khabarovsk is being supplied with clean water, Kamil Iskhakov, President Vladimir Putin's special envoy in the Russian Far East, said on Friday.

"Residents of Khabarovsk are receiving clean water, fit for drinking and other needs," he said in televised remarks.

He was speaking the day after a slick containing benzene and other pollutants from last month's explosion at the Jilin Petrochemical plant in neighbouring China reached Khabarovsk. The pollutants were carried along the Songhua River in China into Russia's Amur River. The Amur is the main source of water supply to Khabarovsk, which has a population of about 600,000.

The Khabarovsk region now has a stock of about 50,000-tonne of drinking water, the authorities have said.

Yuri Garbuz, head of the Khabarovsk region epidemiology and hygienics centre, said Friday that the Amur water is currently being polluted by nitrobenzene, xylene and ethylbenzene. However, he said that the pollution levels still remained below permitted norms.

By: Sergei Blagov
+44 20 8652 3214

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