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