Recycling nutrients from sewage sludge, the Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill and HELCOM nutrient reduction have been key topics for HELCOM members gathering this week at the Pressure Group’s meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden. The meeting marks an important step in the ongoing HELCOM process of nutrient reduction in the Baltic Sea, with assessment methodologies, data collection procedures and planned products on the agenda.HELCOM Pressure group has its main focus on nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from land. Photo: Metsähallitus NHS/Lari Järvinen.Also receiving attention at the Pressure Group’s meeting is the draft HELCOM Recommendation on sewage . The upcoming Recommendation will offer ways to more efficiently recycle nutrients contained by sewage sludge, in particular phosphorus, and utilize its energetic potential while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. As such, it will contribute to HELCOM’s work on nutrient input reduction as well as to broader efforts, such as the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. In treating waste waters, the countries in the Baltic Sea watershed generate about 3.5 million tonnes of dry solids annually and this is only expected to increase—making environmentally sustainable management vital. Things are moving ahead at the Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill located outside St. Petersburg. An update was given at the meeting by the Russian delegation on the state of the site, as recent concerns have been raised regarding increased environmental threats caused by extreme weather conditions at the beginning of this year. The landfill has been listed since the early 1990s on HELCOM’s list of . According to HELCOM , Krasny Bor has a significant and harmful impact on the environment and that the situation is still deteriorating.At the Pressure Group’s meeting, the delegation from St. Petersburg also provided information on possible urgent measures to be undertaken to clean up the Hot Spot. In addition, a call was also presented for international cooperation in the efforts, including a study visit and financing opportunities.In addition, the first-ever regional assessment of the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea environment is also under discussion this week. The status report is being prepared together with the HELCOM State and Conservation Group and is set for release later this year.This week’s meeting, hosted by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, is the fourth gathering of the HELCOM Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area (PRESSURE 4-2016). . All documents will be public after the meeting. * * * Note for editors:The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , 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.The HELCOM works on issues related to nutrient and hazardous substance inputs from diffuse sources and point sources on land, including HELCOM nutrient reduction scheme implementation. The group ensures that necessary technical requirements are in place and develops solutions for policy-relevant questions and needs. Marine litter and underwater noise issues are also coordinated by the group. * * * For more information, please contact:Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky Professional Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 630 9933 Skype: helcom68 E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at)helcom.fi Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill has been another key topic in the HELCOM Pressure Group’s meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.