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The massive toxic slick in the Amur River of potentially lethal benzene may affect the biological resources in the Sea of Okhotsk
The massive toxic slick in the Amur River of potentially lethal benzene may affect the biological resources in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources said Thursday. "If it reaches the Sea of Okhotsk, there will be problems with biological resources," Oleg Mitvol said. He said the water must continue to be tested, but the final results on the consequences of the Amur River pollution would not be available until after the spring freshets. The slick, caused by a November 13 explosion at a Chinese petrochemical plant that dumped about 100 metric tons of toxic chemicals into the Amur tributary of the Songhua, has already reached the suburbs of the city of Khabarovsk, the home to 600,000. Mitvol also said the damming of the Kazakevichev anabranch on the Amur River would lead to a partial loss of the Russian territory to China. "We [effectively] gave our neighbors a lot of territory, since the dam is unlikely to be dismantled," Mitvol said. Spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources Wan Haibin said earlier that the dam would be dismantled when the toxic slick was gone. The construction of the dam, designed to stop the chemicals at the local water-intake facility, started December 16 and was completed on December 21. Some 3,000 people from China and 20 dump trucks were involved in building the dam, which consists of 100,000 cu m of rocky soil, south of Khabarovsk.
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