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The main environmental problem of the Donbas region is pollution of the atmosphere. The emissions of pollutants by enterprises in this region is twice those in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, 3.5 times higher than in the Luhansk oblast, 7 times higher than in the Zaporizhzhia oblast and 12 times higher than in the Kharkiv oblast.
Enterprises of the ferrous metals and coal mining industry and thermoelectric power plants in the oblast discharge about 1.6 mn tones hazardous substances into the atmosphere. The greatest number of such enterprises can be found in the Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, Makiyvka, Maryinskiy and Starobyshevsky counties.
Another environmental problem in the Donetsk oblast is industrial waste. Indeed, waste dumps occupy approximately 30,000 hectares of land, which is 0.2% of the oblast territory. Of the 580 waste dumps used by coal enrich plants, 130 are constantly burning.
The experts consider that the most widespread breach of environmental legislation is the absence of special card for registration with the province, certificates of recycling at enterprises generation waste. In addition to that, 84 enterprises in the metallurgy, coal mining and chemical industries in the oblast used for than 1,600 sources of ionized radiation with total activity level of around 2,000 Ci for different technological purposes.
According to the Program of Environmental Protection developed at the plan, the purification and filtration system of the fire – resistant slaked lime workshop will rebuild. A project for the restoration of the riverbed in the vicinity of slang dumps in the Bulavin River is also being developed and has passed a series of tests.
The management of the Dokuchayiv Flux – dolomite Plan is also concerned about environmental safety issues. This year the enterprises installed in one of its workshops modern equipment that will allow for increasing output volumes, decreasing gas consumption by 10%, and reducing the emission of dust into the air by 1,200 t per year.
The management of Silur is also concentrating much attention to environmental safety in three areas: protection of the atmospheric air, the water basin and recycling of industrial waste. The program of environmental protection and ecological safety in the town of the Khartsyzsk for 2001-2005 envisages the installation of gas purification equipment in the workshop producing steel wire.
The application of new technological solutions in the process of etching rolled and standard wire has already reduced the discharge of harmful substances by 12 t year. For five years the plant has been in operation in a closed cycle, dumping wastewaters into slim collectors, purifying them and reintroducing them into the production cycle. At the beginning of this year, after the steel wire workshop No.3 modernized, a thermo – galvanizing devise No. 6 was put into operation. This allowed for substantially lowering the amount of slime wastes generated in the production of zinc wire.
Over the course of a year and a half the program is 80% complete. In conclusion, the ecologically hazardous Donbas region after all has a chance of becoming not solely the industrial “locomotive” in Ukraine, but also the “generator” of advanced ideas and ecologically safe industrial technologies.