The need to protect communities from hazardous waste is an important agenda for any nation. Although pollutant management and policy development are attempted in many developing countries, it is not always successful due to limited funds, project resources, and access to trained experts to conduct toxic site identification projects. For this reason, Pure Earth created the Toxic Site Identification Program (TSIP). The goal of the TSIP program is to provide reliable information and data that identifies location of toxic sites and the level of toxic severity. TSIP is significant because it provides developing countries a database of ranked toxic sites identified as hazardous risk to human health. For example, Azerbaijan is one of the most polluted post-Soviet nations, but has limited resources to address and manage its polluted sites. The Azerbaijani TSIP database is the first reliable data source that identifies hazardous pollutants in the country. Our study is significant because it discusses how the TSIP labels and ranks the level of toxic severity to human health. It is also the first data source in Azerbaijan that identifies which Soviet legacy toxic sites are affecting local communities. Although our study is specific to Azerbaijan, the TSIP method can be applied to nations with similar data limitations and the need for a database that identifies country specific environmental and hazardous locations. The data sampling method and results are mapped and accompanied by tables of the collected pollutant types to identify communities at greatest health-risk to legacy toxic sites.
The Sumgait remediation project was implemented in 2015 as a partnership between Blacksmith Institute and the site owner Azerikimya Joint Stock Company (Azerikimya) in Sumgait City, Azerbaijan Republic, about 30 km northwest of Baku. The project was financed by European Commission and supported by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR) and Sumgait Municipality. The site is a place on the Caspian Sea coast that was formerly an industrial area highly contaminated with various pollutants and particularly benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). As part of initial environmental assessment the project team took soil samples at 19 locations at the surface and at the depth of 0.5 m. The maximum topsoil benzo(a)pyrene concentration was 76.21 mg/kg, benzene-121.5 mg/kg, and PCBs-121.02 mg/kg. The remediation project involved the removal of 804 m 3 of contaminated soil, and disposal of the contaminated soil at the MENR Hazardous Waste Polyqon (landfill). A comparison of pre-and post-excavation sampling shows that average contaminant levels in soils in the upper 0.5 m were reduced by an average of 97 percent. These actions were followed by bioremediation activities. More than 13,000 m 3 of clean soil and organic fertilizer were placed and leveled over an area of two hectares. Approximately 1,200 locally grown native tree species were planted, and a drip-irrigation system was installed. The area is now a park close to the beach.
The article analyzes issue of strategy forming of state development through prism of state environmental safety, preservation of its natural capital in the process of formation and implementation of state environmental policy. Basic ecological, economic, social principles of natural capital preservation of Ukraine are considered. Possibilities of ecological network development of Ukraine are investigated. A comprehensive knowledge framework for the management of natural capital is shown.
COVID-19 pandemic is an emergency that spread across the planet. It threatens lives and health of the population, with many dead and injured. Also, during pandemic there was (and continues to be) a violation of normal living conditions, significant material damage to economies of different countries. Quarantine restrictions affected social, educational, cultural and spiritual spheres of society. There is an urgent threat to operation of critical infrastructure as the pandemic led to large numbers of hospitalized or self-isolated people and being treated at home. At present, the operation of critical infrastructure, and in particular nuclear power plants, is strategically important for the proper functioning of any country. Also, the research describes causes of emergencies at nuclear power plants and identifies another factor - the mass disease of NPP personnel or their relatives on COVID-19. It is determined that timely detection and appropriate work to restore mental health during the pandemic is no less important area of work along with providing medical care to population. Stress associated with uncertainty, threat to health, can have negative consequences for well-being and mental health of workers. Depression, emotional exhaustion, anxiety, irritability, suicidal thoughts, etc. can also be consequences. Socio-psychological support especially for critical infrastructure workers is important to promote mental health during COVID-19 pandemic. Recommendations for socio-psychological support of NPP personnel were developed. Specialized mobile applications are described as convenient and economical way for primary psychological care.
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