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Oil Spill Hits Russia’s Pacific Coast Amid String of Pollution Incidents

An oil slick has appeared in a bay near a ship repair plant on Russia’s Pacific coast, local media reported Thursday, marking at least the third oil spill to hit Russia this month.

Aerial photographs showed a rainbow-colored area consistent with an oil spill on the water's surface near the shipyard in the Far East city of Nakhodka.

The Nakhodka Ship Repair Yard told the website that they first noticed a film of oil covering the nearby bay earlier Wednesday.

The Russian natural resource watchog’s affiliate in the Primorye region, where Nakhodka is the second-largest city, collected water samples to determine the source of the spill. reported that none of the nearby heating plants experienced leaks. 

An oil and debris collection vessel has begun cleaning the water surface, it added.

The regional administration’s environmental authorities said they were looking into installing floating barriers called booms to localize the spill.

Earlier in October, a ruptured transport barge caused 500 liters of diesel fuel to spill into the Angara River in Siberia and another vessel spilled a layer of fuel the size of a hockey rink into the Volga River north of Moscow. 

This month's spills are dwarfed by a major fuel spill that hit Russia's Arctic in May, when a tank believed to be damaged by melting permafrost leaked some 20,000 liters of diesel fuel into the Ambarnaya River. 

Russia has been hit by a series of environmental disasters in 2020, including massive wildfires in Siberia and a mysterious die-off of nearly all seabed life along the coast of the Far East Kamchatka peninsula.