The Impact of the Main Pipelines on the Environment of the Basins of the Small Rivers of Zakarpattya, Based on the Example of the "Brody-Derzhkordon" Oil Pipeline. The Problems and Ways to Solve Them

Grant Recipient

"Edelweiss" Trans-Carpathian Environmental Club

Project Leader

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Yaroslav Kutsenko


Universytetska St., 21,
Uzhgorod city, Zakarpatska Oblast, 88017
Tel: +38 03122 42551


To examine the environment's ability to purify itself naturally in order to reduce the negative impacts of oil spills resulting from accidents on the main oil pipelines.


  • to make a map of environmental pollution resulting from accidents;
  • to study the dynamics of how the environment purifies itself naturally after oil spills;
  • to assess the main aspects of the negative impact of oil spills on the environment;
  • to devise and test practical recommendations for protecting the environment's ability to purify itself naturally;
  • to inform the population about how the state of the environment changes as a result of oil spills.

Project Area

Zakarpatska Oblast


Data were gathered on an emergency at the "Brody-Derzhkordon" oil pipeline (between Brody town and the Ukrainian state border) in Zakarpatska Oblast

There are seven transit branch pipelines for transporting oil, oil products, natural gas and ethylene in Zakarpattya; they have a total length of 1,701 km. The "Brody-Derzhkordon" oil pipeline consists of two branches, built in 1962 and 1973 (with an estimated operational life of 20 years). The branches run parallel to one another and cross a number of rivers, streams and ameliorative channels; the largest of the rivers are the Latorytsya, Velyka Pynya and Viola.

One of the most serious problems in operating the pipeline are emergencies, which often have a catastrophic impact on the environment. During the last 10 years there have been nine emergencies involving ruptures in the pipeline that led to spillages of oil into the environment.

The worst emergency in Zakarpatska Oblast occurred on 17 September 2003, near Pidpolozzya village in Volovets Rayon. The emergency was caused by a rupture in the pipeline where it enters the ground after crossing the River Latorytsya above ground. This led to the pollution of around 700 m of soil and the surface of the river over an area 550 m long and around 18 m wide. According to the official data, 110 tonnes of oil were spilt. Four hundred people and 47 machines were involved in dealing with the emergency. Emergency teams cleaned up the river banks and the course of the River Latorytsya by mechanical means and by using absorbent materials.


Field trips were conducted along the old and by-pass oil pipelines

Field trips were made with the aim of identifying the level of pollution by oil products in the soil, river water and bottom sediments; the trips were made in December 2003 and March 2004. Along the route, soil samples from a depth up to 150 cm were made, and samples were also taken of bottom sediment and sediment near the bank (80 samples in total). Chemical analyses of the water samples were carried out and these were compared with data from the Oblast State Water Committee, taken on the tenth day after the emergency near Pidpolozzya village. The analyses showed a significant decrease in the amount of oil in the water after the emergency and the absence of oil products in the soil six months after the emergency. It was established that the level of pollution decreased 10 times faster in silt than in soil.


Maps were made of pollution and eroded parts of the oil pipe

A schematic map, "Qualitative Assessment of Landscapes of Zakarpatska Oblast and their Capacity for Branch Oil Pipelines", was created. The map shows the sustainability status of the various areas (sustainable, conditionally sustainable, unsustainable, close to critical, critical). Correspondingly, five levels of suitability for areas through which oil pipelines could run were suggested: favourable, favourable in some way, unfavourable, threatening and critical.


The local population was interviewed

In order to study public opinion on the environmental impact of the branch pipes, 380 people - residents of 21 villages - were interviewed. It was discovered that more than half of the respondents (54%) had a negative attitude towards pipelines.


A project report was produced


© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network
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