Glubokoye: dangerous dumps on the banks of the Irtysh River

24.7.2014 - Glubokoye / East Kazakhstan Province

Five disposal sites of metalurgic slag from Itrysh Smelting Company (IMZ) are located in the territory of Glubokoye village in East Kazakhstan Province. Over the years the district authorities have been trying to solve the environmental problems, namely, to establish processing of these wastes which are located in the immediate vicinity of the transboundary Irtysh River.

Master plan of Glubokoye village has been developed, as well as the waste processing project based on new technologies. However, the problem has not been solved yet. The slag contains high levels of heavy metals, such as lead, zinc or copper.

The waste disposal sites № 1, 2 and 3 represent a particular threat, because  they are located in the very vicinity of the Irtysh River, at a distance of 7 - 10 meters from the river bank. Although the dump is separated from the stream by a small dam, it leaks at number of places and dangerous substances are getting into the water. Local people are afraid of what would happen in case of floods, if 8 tons of the slag got into the water stream.

So far, the local authorities have not conducted a debate with the citizens on the issue. The area of the waste dumps is not even fenced and there are not any warning signs.

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