Hydrometallurgical plant settled its ecological dispute
The Commercial Court of the North Caucasian federal district has settled a long-standing dispute between the Federal Natural Resources Agency of Russia (Rosprirodnadzor) and Hydrometallurgical plant (city of Lermontov). Since 2013, Rosprirodnadzor has been issuing fines to the enterprise for negative environmental impact.
For more than 20 years, the Hydrometallurgical plant, by agreement with Rosatom, has been using phosphogypsum to create a barrier at the tailing dump to prevent the spread of radiation. At the same time, Rosprirodnadzor considers phosphogypsum to be a waste product of the production of mineral fertilizers and has a claim that it wasn’t properly disposed of. For this reason, Rosprirodnadzor filed two claims against the Hydrometallurgical plant at the total amount of 161.5 million rubles (approximately $2.08 million).
Only on October 8, 2020, the Commercial Court of the North Caucasian federal district declared the Hydrometallurgical plant not guilty of causing harm to the environment and released the enterprise from the need to pay the fine issued by Rosprirodnadzor.
“Phosphogypsum is not a waste product, it’s an effective and reliable barrier against the spread of radiation,” noted Vyacheslav Baikalov, CEO of Almaz Fertilizer company (part of Almaz Group).
However, it looks like the lawsuit will be continued as on October 19, 2020, the Commercial Court of the North Caucasian federal district held a hearing on the claim of Rosprirodnadzor against the Hydrometallurgical plant to recover 104.487 million rubles (approx. $1.35 million). We will keep you updating on the progress of this investigation.