Russian Public Chamber worried about oil pipeline construction near Baikal Lake

Publish date: April 11, 2006

The Council of the Russian Public Chamber received a petition, devoted to the construction of the oil pipeline “Eastern Siberia – the Pacific Ocean” (ESPO) and a possible environmental danger for Baikal Lake.

The Council of the Public Chamber considers the building of the pipeline ESPO to be an important geopolitical project for development of Russia. At the same time, the current variant of this project does not exclude a danger for Baikal Lake, which contains one fifth of the fresh water world resources. According to the current project, the route of the pipeline will go through the territory of the World Natural heritage, 800 metres from Baikal Lake.

Representatives of science and NGOs have been pointing to this problem and insisting on elimination of this danger for the unique nature while the project implementation for several years. They offer to consider a possibility of the project implementation beyond water withdrawal of Baikal Lake, Regnum reports.

The Council thinks it is necessary to make an objective examination of the project implementation according to the economic interests and requirements of the environmental safety. The Council offers to consider project alternatives with less potential danger for Baikal.