JCCC denies Ukraine’s statement alleging Phenol Plant’s hazardous dam breach

June 12, 2018 19:01
Фото: Дзержинский фенольный завод, архив.

Donetsk, Jun 12 – DAN. The statement alleging the collapse of the Phenol Plant’s hazardous dam in Kiev-controlled Dzerzhinsk (outside Gorlovka) is not consistent with the fact, head of the DPR Mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination Ruslan Yakubov told the Donetsk News Agency on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian mass media reported an accident at the Dzerzhinsk dam citing the so-called Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories’ tweet.

“The Phenol Plant’s dam has been a hazard since 2014 due to fighting. No fresh damage to the facility has been recorded. The condition of the facility has always been under special control due to its regional significance,” Yakubov said.

The press service of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine told the Donetsk News Agency that it was unaware of the Phenol Plant dam breach.

Meanwhile, the JCCC said that Ukraine sent security guarantee requests on June 11 in order to carry out maintenance works on the sludge reservoir dam. “No urgency or ruination was mentioned. It’s standard maintenance which they did, time and again,” Yakubov said.

He is confident that there is an ulterior motive behind the claims of an accident. To provide security guarantees to Kiev, Donetsk demanded that it meet a number of conditions, such as removing Ukrainian army units’ positions which were organised in this zone during the autumn 2017 repairs. “Kiev met our terms but one – the positions stayed put. Ukraine never dismantled them. The fake news aims to force Donbass to silence its guns without Kiev’s meeting its commitments,” he said.

The State Committee for Environmental Policy under the DPR Head expressed concern over the situation outside Gorlovka.

“It’s difficult to estimate the condition of the dam at present. Despite numerous attempts, the issue of DPR specialists’ participation in the inspection of hazardous industrial facilities in Ukraine-controlled territory including the Dzerzhinsk Phenol Plant, supported by international organisations, has not been settled yet,” the Committee said in a statement received by DAN.

It added that the Ukraine-imposed ban on checks at the regional companies, including hazardous ones, has been effective for the fifth consecutive year. This policy is a direct threat to the region’s ecology. Only the inspections, conducted jointly with the DPR will secure permanent supervision of the monitoring of hazardous facilities and help avoid the threat to people’s life and health, the Committee said.

The Dzerzhinsk Phenol Plant processes phenolic and naphthalene raw materials. Its sludge reservoir contains dangerous liquid waste (phenol, pyridine, sulfuric acid) and more than 260 tons of solid waste. A dam breach would cause large-scale contamination of underground and surface waters with phenol, naphthalene, benzene, toluene, sulfuric acid and pyridine. The contamination of the Krivoy Torets river will cause the pollution of the Severskiy Donetsk which is a major regional water reservoir. In the winter of 2018, the Ukrainian army organised firing positions next to the dam which were confirmed by OSCE SMM monitors.*jk