Is northern alluvium dangerous for Vasilyevsky Island?. “Paper”

On September 12, the Kuibyshevsky District Court attached a public examination to the case. Activists are trying to prove that mistakes were made during the state examination. Rosprirodnadzor and LSR do not agree.

The State Ecological Commission made a decision on the safety of the construction of the northern alluvium without taking into account the materials of engineering surveys. This was stated with reference to the project documentation of LSR and the materials of the examination, the lawyer of the opponents of the alluvium Evgenia Galkina.

“Without engineering surveys, it is impossible to predict environmental changes on Vasilyevsky Island and the Neva Bay. Such a gross violation of the law is enough to recognize the decision of the state commission as illegal, ”Galkina said in court.

The representative of Rosprirodnadzor replied that engineering surveys are in the design documentation for the northern alluvium. Activists argue that the studies cited in the documents are not engineering studies. In turn, the department noted that they are not responsible for the decisions of the expert commission, even in case of errors.

“We cannot interfere with the activities [государственной] commissions, [проводившей госэкспертизу]. This is called the “principle of the independence of experts,” said a representative of Rosprirodnadzor.

Activists who oppose the northern alluvium testified in court that they found a clear excess of air pollution standards in the LSR developer’s project.

“Rosprirodnadzor ignored the excess of air pollution standards in the LSR project. The level of benzapyrene, a dangerous carcinogen, almost doubled the legal requirements,” said Evgenia Galkina.

In the event of an emergency, harmful substances will spread for ten kilometers, according to the public environmental expertise of the ECOM center. “Not ten, but only seven kilometers,” Roman Grigoriev, the LSR defendant, clarified during the trial.

The developer does not deny air pollution, but notes that violations of environmental legislation “refuted by the review of experts” of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. According to the developer, the analysis of project documentation refutes the arguments of the activists. The activists themselves claim that “the expertise of the people who wrote the review has not been confirmed.”

According to the representative of Rosprirodnadzor, a causal relationship between air pollution and LSR’s work on alluvium has not been established. “The plaintiff should prove that the pollution is a consequence of the construction work of LSR,” the department official said.

The plaintiffs noted in court that under the alluvium project from offshore quarries, it is planned to deliver 11 million cubic meters of sand and that LSR is storing it on the shore of the bay. Due to the wind, sand scatters around the city and negatively affects the health of the residents of Vasilyevsky Island, activists say.

“Everyone, including children, has to breathe polluted air. The experts of the state commission did not pay attention to this problem, as well as to what harm the release of toxic substances would bring to the environment when transporting such a volume of sand, ”Yevgenia Galkina told the court.

Residents of Vasilyevsky Island, opposing the northern alluvium. Photo: “Paper”

The lawyer believes that it is inappropriate to wash 11 million cubic meters of sand and harm the city’s environment for ordinary residential development: “LSR has alternative building sites that can be used more efficiently and more environmentally.”

The developer replied that the environmental impact of transporting and storing sand was taken into account by the state environmental commission when making a decision.

The issue of temporary storage of sand on the coast of Vasilievsky Island passed public hearings in October. Now another state environmental commission is assessing the environmental impact of sand. The test results will be announced at the end of December. written on the official website of Rosprirodnadzor.

During the proceedings, the representative of “LSR” handed over to the court a new project documentation. As Evgenia Galkina noted, the documents differed from those previously submitted to Rosprirodnadzor.

“Such actions must inevitably lead to the annulment of the results of the state ecological expertise. We do not know what changes LSR has made and how they will affect the environment,” said a spokeswoman for the activists.

LSR claims that it is possible to make changes to the project if they concern the reduction of harm to the environment. When asked by a lawyer how LSR defines positive environmental changes without an environmental commission, the developer’s representative replied: “It’s mathematically obvious.”

According to public expertise, the continuation of the construction of the northern alluvium may lead to major accidents in the bay, said Evgenia Galkina.

During the proceedings on the alluvium already has begun a fire at the hydroloader of the LSR.Bazovye company, which delivers building materials, Galkina noted. The cause of the fire is unknown.

“The alluvium is created in the waters of the Neva Bay, where the Big Port of St. Petersburg is located. Construction under heavy maritime traffic is dangerous and requires additional security measures. There is a high risk of accidents, ”Galkina said, referring to the project documentation.

At the same time, the court relied on Rosprirodnadzor, whose expertise showed no possible problems. “Rosprirodnadzor also has experts. Only you worked to discredit Rosprirodnadzor, and they worked to analyze the real situation,” the judge responded.

The defendant from LSR agreed with the court and stated that the existing security measures are sufficient and that state expertise should be trusted: “The plaintiffs motivate all remarks by public environmental expertise. We believe that this document has no legal force.”

On October 31, at the request of the LSR representative, the judge of the Kuibyshev court introduced to the materials of the case a new public ecological expertise. At the request of the developer, it was carried out by the environmental center “Ecosphere of the Nevsky Territory”, registered in 2019 and headed by Sergey Gribalev, ex-head of the Department of State Environmental Control of the Leningrad Region.

According to the developer, the examination proves “the inconsistency of the arguments of the activists and refutes the harm of the northern alluvium project to the environment.” However, the new expertise is not presented in public access – it was given to the court and lawyers for review.

The case now includes three environmental reviews:

  • state one from Rosprirodnadzor, held in 2021;
  • public from the company “EKOM”, ordered by residents;
  • public from the company “Ecosphere of the Nevsky Territory”, ordered by “LSR”.

In addition, the developer requested the involvement of experts from St Petersburg University for additional forensic examination. The side of the activists opposed and stated that sufficient grounds had already been presented for a decision on the illegality of the state examination. The judge invited LSR to explain the meaning of the new examination at the next meeting.

“LSR deliberately delays the trial while the work on the northern alluvium is already in full swing. This is an obvious and logical strategy that we expected, ”says “Paper” activist Igor Pirogov.

What will happen next. The dispute over the legality of the decision of the state environmental commission will continue on November 15. “We need to familiarize ourselves with the new public environmental expertise and form our legal position on this issue,” commented Evgenia Galkina.

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