September 29, 2008

Waterkeeper Alliance and Greenline File a Claim Against Rusal, the Aluminum Giant Owned By Russian Billionaire Oleg Deripaska, for Violating Environmental Regulations in Krasnoyarsk Region

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Keepers of the Rivers, Moscow-based environmental group along with Greenline, independent environmental watchdog, has accused aluminum giant Rusal of dumping poisonous waste near its plant in Krasnoyarsk. The environmentalists submitted its claim against the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant (KRAZ), controlled by Rusal Holding, after reviewing a series of complaints from residents of two villages located near the plant. Independent tests revealed that concentrations of toxic chemicals in the soil were far above normal levels. They submitted the claim to the Krasnoyarsk Attorney's office and to Rosprirodnadzor, the country's environment protection agency.

The Russian State News Agency confirmed that a major inspection of KRAZ by Rosprirodnadzor is already under way. Vladimir Lapukhov, a senior expert on environmental issues in Russia, says KRAZ has done substantial damage to the environment of the Krasnoyarsk region. "The levels of toxic elements in the water near the plant exceed 400% of their normal levels. It's an actual threat to people's health," Lapukhov says. "I was happy to hear that Rosprirodnadzor has decided to inspect the plant and to make it follow environmental guidelines," he adds.

Maxim Shingarkin, "Keepers of the Rivers" director, said at a press conference held in Moscow: "We received complaints and filed a claim against Rusal's KRAZ according to the law. Now Rosprirodnadzor will inspect KRAZ or will authorize us to conduct an independent inspection." Arkady Zubov, director of the Krasnoyarsk ecology union, said: "KRAZ invests into purification faculties, but at some locations their equipment is still old and it fails."

KRUZ is owned by Oleg Deripaska, Russia's richest man, currently #9 on the Forbes Billionaires list. A spokesman for Rusal denied that the inspection was being conducted and said that the villages have been relocated some time ago, Russian State News Agency reported.


CONTACT: Elena Sedova of Greenline, +1-914-816-4767,[email protected]