on the current status of significant sources of pollution to the Baltic Sea in Russia, or ‘hot spots’, has been released by the HELCOM BASE project. Out of the twelve remaining Russian sites identified in the Baltic Sea catchment, one third could be removed from the original list as the necessary measures to meet the requirements have been introduced. Six hot spots are either implementing or planning for improvements, the study concludes, while two sites remain with lower levels of mitigation efforts. Since the report was written, further progress has been made. Russia submitted a proposal to HELCOM to delete Sub-Hot Spot No. 18.1 “Construction of new sewer connections” (Saint-Petersburg). complements the final outcome of HELCOM’s Baltic Sea Joint Comprehensive Environmental Action Programme (JCP, 1992–2013), created as large international environmental management framework to reduce pollution loads into the Baltic Sea. Identifying and cleaning up pollution hot spots has been an important part of this work. Originally 17 exclusively Russian sites were in the hot spot list, having in total 162 sites covering the whole region mainly from industrial and municipal, but also diffuse sources such as agricultural areas (see map).According to the new report, among the most progressed former hot spots is the municipal sewage treatment in St. Petersburg, reaching a nearly 98% of urban sewage water treatment. In addition, the environmental hazards from three pulp and paper producers in Kaliningrad region have reduced significantly. Municipal waste water treatment in Kaliningrad remains a serious concern.The challenge of mitigating pollution from agriculture shows also positive signs, according to the study. Livestock farming in Leningrad region is a well-developed economic sector whose share in the gross regional product has increased in recent years. The predominance of a large-scale commercial production sector coupled with a high degree of poor storage facilities for storing manure exacerbates the problem of excessive harmful inputs to the Baltic Sea. The expected introduction of technological regulations will result in a significant decrease of nutrient load and the ultimate removal of the region’s agricultural sector from HELCOM’s list of hot spotsSince the original framework of HELCOM hot spots has reached its official end, the remaining work to tackle pollution sites has been incorporated to the regular HELCOM work more flexibly. The dedicated group () is prepared to address any issue when needs arise, covering the Baltic Sea region as agreed by all the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention: all the coastal Baltic states and the European Union. * *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: components) 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 “Ecology and Business”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* * *For further information, please contact:Marta PlichtProject ResearcheHELCOM BASTel: +358 40 669 3090Skype: helcom5E-mail: marta.plichta(at)helcom.fJohanna LaurilInformation SecretarHELCOTel: +358 40 523 898Skype: helcom7E-mail: Johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
A report on the current status of ‘hot spots’ in Russia, released by the HELCOM BASE project, shows that reductions have been made.