The Sochi National Park illegally allows soil dumping, including hard rocks, left from Olympic constructions on its territory. Such activity violates the Federal law 33-FZ On specially protected natural areas, specifically its Chapter III, which regulates protection of national parks.
The minimum amount of ‘soil’ is being discussed here is shocking: 14 million cubic meters.
The regime of protection of national parks on the territory of the Russian Federation prohibits such type of activities. In contrast, it does allow some activities that are aimed at securing functioning the national park’s management and securing well-being of the citizens residing on the territory of the national park (Art. 15, par. 1, sub-par. (д)). Soil dumping does not seem to fit into the list of activities allowed by the federal law. Moreover, Art. 15 par. 2 specifically prohibits any activity which may damage natural systems, flora and fauna, cultural and historic objects and which contradicts purposes and objectives of the national park. The law regulates such purposes and aims and all of them are aimed at environmental protection (See Art. 13).
The Sochi National Park has a list of areas where Olympic ‘soil’ is ‘allowed’ to be dumped. Such dumping is based on the profit ground: 5 rubles (appx. $0.17) for one cubic meter. Even more, the Sochi National Park signs the contract on soil dumping, thus, trying to make the activity legal. The contract cites one of the aims of the national parks, stipulated by the mentioned law (Art. 13): the contract says (Part 1) that soil dumping is for the purpose of ‘creating conditions for tourism and recreation’ and ‘restoration of damaged natural and historic-cultural objects’ (Art. 13, sub-par ‘г’ and ‘ж’)., Again, soil dumping seems very unlikely to fit into such purposes.
Importantly, the list of the mentioned areas includes the area (#21) where illegal Olympic dumping was revealed by EWNC. For the purpose of soil dumping, the area of virgin forest was cut. There was no engineer protection system established for the soil dumping. Revealed soil dumping caused a landsliding. Later, this particular soil dumping was closed and legal procedures were initiated.
In addition to the fact that such activities are illegal, two facts are very suspicious.
First, the control over the soil dumping is managed by the Park itself. This, of course, excludes any objectivity. Not only soil can be dumped on the territory of the National Park. There is no guarantee that construction wastes are not dumped the same way as the soil. Activities must be monitored by the environmental protection agency.
Second, the list of areas, the scheme, is approved by the Ministry of natural resources and environment (Mr. Semen Levi), by State Corporation ‘Olympstroy’ (Khasyan Zyabirov), which will be liquidated in 2014 and its accountability is virtually impossible, and by vice-governor of Krasnodar krai (Alexandr Ivanov). Olympstroy and Krasnodar krai should not have any subordination relationships to the Sochi National Park under the law. Thus, their approval is surprising.
Before the beginning of Olympic construction, the Sochi National Park, with its head Nikolai Penkovsky, became famous for illegal constructions, illegal forest cuts, violations of the water protection regime, and illegal fees to entrance the Park.
By Yulia Genin based on materials by EWNC .