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Illegal Landfill in Moscow Region Causes $37M Ecological Damage

The illegal landfill site in the Voskresensky district is believed to have caused massive ecological damage.

An illegal landfill organized by a veterinary academy in the Moscow region has caused more than 1.2 billion rubles ($37.7 million) of ecological damage, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

Police said that from 2003 to 2009 the management of the Leonovskoye training facility, which belongs to the Skryabin Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, organized an unauthorized dumping ground in the Voskresensky district of the Moscow region. The landfill took up 13.5 hectares of agricultural land, Interfax reported.

The training facility had ignored an earlier court decision ordering it to clean the contaminated site, while its agreement with a contractor to recultivate the land failed to result in any real work being done, a police spokesman said.

Furthermore, the company continued to operate the landfill by dumping effluent from water treatment plants on top of the existing landfill, he said.

"Preliminary estimates indicate that the damage to the environment exceeds 1.2 billion rubles," he said.

A criminal case has been opened on charges of abuse of office, which carry a maximum punishment of four years imprisonment.

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