Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

New data released on hazardous substances from Kaliningrad to the Baltic Sea

First major HELCOM monitoring
project on in Kaliningrad has been completed and the indicate, among others, that several compounds from the eleven HELCOM priority hazardous
substances could be
detected both in water and sediment.  For
example, high levels of a common hygiene product ingredient, nonylphenol, was
found both in Kaliningrad waste canal as well as in leachate water from a major
landfill.   Most of the HELCOM hazardous
substances are not water soluble and therefore attach on solid material and sediment
in aquatic environment. In Kaliningrad, the sedimentation takes place in the
Curonian Lagoon which remarkably reduces discharge of the substances to the
Baltic Sea. Similarly, the hazardous substances leaching from landfills are
bound to the nearby sediments thus not released to the sea.  The data has been obtained within
the EU-funded . The project commissioned the screening of the HELCOM hazardous
substances in Kaliningrad, first time in the main river of Kaliningrad, as part of a larger effort to improve monitoring in Russia’s regions
in the Baltic Sea catchment area. The eleven priority hazardous substances defined by HELCOM are based on
their adverse effects: persistence, bio-accumulation and toxicity. In the study on hazardous compounds in Kaliningrad, water and sediment was sampled in
June 2014 from seven locations along the main river of Kaliningrad, the
Pregolya, and its tributaries that flow into the Curonian Lagoon before
discharging into the main basin of the Baltic Sea. Several groups of HELCOM
hazardous substances, such as organotins, chlorinated alcanes, PFOS- compounds,
and nonyl and octylphenols were not monitored from sediments because of lack of
locally available analytical method.  Another related activity of the
EU-funded HELCOM BASE Project confirms that water and sediment of the Pregolya
River, Kaliningrad, is heavily polluted with oil around the Kaliningrad Port
Oil Terminal, identified as a so-called referring to a regionally significant source of pollution. The delved deeper into the possibilities to minimize pollution from the
site. Explicit recommendations to the authorities in charge are included in the
report along with the Environmental Management Plan. The recommendations list
the construction of new oil recovery wells for removal of oil phase from ground
water surface, as well as upgrading the physical, chemical and biological waste
water treatment processes of the oil terminal. By implementation of the
Environmental Management Plan, 98 % of the present oil discharges to the
Pregolya is estimated to be eliminated.   Screening of HELCOM hazardous substances in water and sediment in Kaliningrad, BASE Project summaryPilot activity to minimize oil pollution to the Pregolya River from the Kaliningrad Port Oil Terminal​,
BASE Project summary   * * *Note for
editors: (2012–2014) supports the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan
() in Russia.  BASE addresses
altogether three priority areas of the HELCOM BSAP: eutrophication, hazardous
substances, and biodiversity and nature protection. Within BASE, monitoring
activities to support and measure the progress within the abovementioned
segments are also being carried out. The pilot projects (See: ) are
implemented by experts from Russia with the support of EU experts, while the
overall Project, funded by EU, is managed by the HELCOM Secretariat and St.
Petersburg Public Organization . The Baltic
Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as HELCOM, is an
intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the
European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from
all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region.
Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the
Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly
known as the Helsinki Convention. * * *For further
information, please contact:Risto ValoBASE
Project ExpertPöyry
Finland OyTel: +358
400 577 548E-mail:
risto.valo(at) Johanna
SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358
40 523 8988Skype:

New results indicate, among others, that several compounds from the eleven HELCOM priority hazardous substances could be detected both in water and sediment.