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21,000 tons of Diesel Spills into Russian River

At the end of May, diesel leaked from the storage tank of a thermal power station near the industrial city of Norilsk in Russia. 21,000 tons of diesel was leaked into the Ambarnaya River, which was turned red by the oil. However, there was no official response until days later. Over 14,000 square meters of the river was contaminated by the oil spill. Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in the region. This is the largest oil spill in Russian history. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against the incident, saying that he had only learned of the spill last Sunday 31st May. “Why did government agencies only find out about this two days after the fact?” he said. “Are we going to learn about emergency situations from social media?”

Nornickel, the company that owns the plant, said in a statement that the sudden rise in temperature caused the frozen soil to suddenly erode. Also the rise in temperature has caused one of the tank’s pillars to collapse. These were due to climate change. Nornickel is owned by the wealthiest man in Russia, Vladimir Potanin, who is worth an estimated €22 billion. Potanin has pledged to pay for the cleanup, which he estimated will cost at least €130 million, The United States offered to help Russia clean up the spill. “Saddened to hear about the fuel spill in Norilsk, Russia,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. “Despite our disagreements, the United States stands ready to assist Russia to mitigate this environmental disaster and offer our technical expertise.”

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