POPs risk reduction from the priority contaminated sites for the commune Tareuca

POPs risk reduction from the priority contaminated sites for the commune Tareuca

Rural commune TAREUCA1 is included two typical small Moldovan's villages named as Tareuca and Tahnauti. Commune is located in the central part of Republic of Moldova, under the administrative region Rezina and at the 10 km distance from the transboundary river Dniester (Moldova and Ukraine) which falls to the Black Sea. The total population in commune is about 3500 inhabitants. Actually, commune possesses a wide range of typical problems and obstacles associated with rural social-economic development.

There are two significant sources of pesticides pollution are remaining at the territory of commune. They are - abandoned pest warehouse and remains of pest blending station. Both sites were developed during the Soviet era for pesticide management of local collective farm, but after it collapsing and land privatization - remaining without any control. The warehouse is located at 250 m from the household area and presents damaged building with concrete and bricks walls which are partly destroyed and possessing the risk of collapsing. The ruins of blending station are situated under the agricultural lands used by local farmers for crops grooving. There are no stocks of pesticides yet, but the neighborhood soils are polluted by the POPs and other pest residuals. Both sites were investigated in 2009-20102. The finding shows an extremely high contamination of soil under the warehouse proximity, showing the concentration of sum POPs up to 2600 mg/kg. The soil around the former blending station are polluted as well up to 2,8 mg/kg, which exceeds national agricultural soil standard (0,1 mg/kg). The soil pollution is comprised from the number of pest residuals including such as: DDT, lindane, heptachlor.

Considering the risk factors - the warehouse was classified by the Ministry of Environment of Moldova as highly priority site (at the national scale) for risk reduction and rehabilitation3. 1 The national inventory of POPs polluted territories were finished in 2011 and currently the Ministry of Environment have no any country-wide program set-up. Nevertheless, the civil society of commune TAREUCA are quite concerning about situation. In order to solve the problem the initiative group of citizens takes initiative and work together with mayor for finding more cost-effective solution. The mayoralty is already allocated funds for additional soil sampling and feasibility study. The feasibility report4 confirms dispersion of POPs contamination from warehoused territory to the distance and in soil deeps (up to 60 cm). Several contamination zones around warehouse, which required different excavation efforts, were determined. POPs distribution risk assessment indicate that site, due to topography and location is generate a great risk for humans (direct contact, dispersion, inhalation), grassing animals, agricultural fields and water sources (small river, which is tributary to the Dniester is flowing downstream). Most of sensitive risk receptors are located at the down gradient.

The amount of contaminated materials (soil, construction remains) is about 1800 m3, including 420 m3 of concrete and bricks. Feasibility study treats different options for site's risk reduction. The most appropriate solution was identified as to construct controlled sarcophagus at the site, which should accumulate contaminated construction materials and soil5. The peasants of commune TAREUCA and initiative group were extensively involved in discussions and selection of disposal methods. In spite to the fact that sarcophagus is not a final POPs solution this technology was adopted by the local commune considering the acute and significance of the problem. Feasibility study estimates the funds needed for demolishing of warehouse and forming of sarcophagus. The investment can rise to 650 - 670 thousands MDL (equivalently to 65-67 thousands US$). In addition the funds will be needed for engineering design, topographical and geological surveys of location were sarcophagus will be placed, which were estimated as 5 000 US$ (local price). Preparation of the Environmental Management Plan for construction/operation, commune awareness, training of local supervisors, safety instruction for construction company and civil works supervision can be additionally estimated as 5 000 US$ (local price).

The mayoralty of TAREUCA is prepared the request for National Environmental Fund (coordinated by the Ministry of Environment) and made a contact with respective servants, but funds are not available yet. The Social Investment Fund (operated in Moldova for social and development projects) are not in operation yet. Due to the needs for urgent solving of problem with abandoned warehouse, the commune TAREUCA is looking for cooperation and co-financing. Any assistance and recommendations are welcome. Do not hesitate to contact (contact person - Ruslan Melian, ECOS team leader, english speaking, e-mail rmelian(g)rambler.ru, pestpops@mail(.)ru) for any related questions or additional information.

With respect,

Mayor of commune TAREUCA Genadii Letter