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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.
Over the past century, there is an increased contribution of non climatic factors to the flood formation processes in the Kura River. Non climatic factors of floods refer to factors that are related to reductions in channel capacity and result in floods. More recently, there are numerous non climatic factors occurring in and around the Kura River basin that have increased the frequency of floods. Sediment accumulation in the riverbed over a long period of time has led to the reduction of channel capacity and has raised the elevation of the riverbed above the surrounding territory. It is illustrated that construction of dykes and levees do not actually prevent flooding, where hydrologic connections between groundwater and surface water are high, since infiltrated waters from channel results in raising of ground waters, causing an effect of ''underground flood.'' Since underground floods occur when water going from channels raises the level of ground waters, there is an urgent need to carefully investigate the groundwater-surface water connections. With the purpose of predicting floods, the authors suggest defining maximal acceptable flows (MAFs) rather than channel capacities. Results show that high rates of hydraulic conductivity of soils will decrease MAF rates. MAF computations before high-water season allow for further regulation of outlets further downstream in order to prevent flooding and enable flood forecasting. While the study focuses on a specific region, the overall approach suggested is generic and may be applied elsewhere.
The study aims to set and implement environmentally relevant limits for the exploitation of mountain streams in the Kura River basin of Azerbaijan. Such streams represent the preferred spawning grounds for valuable sturgeon of the Caspian Sea, but experience continuously increasing exploitation in the form of water withdrawals for industry and irrigation. Since no detailed environmental flow assessments have been conducted on any of the Kura basin streams, an interim approach is suggested based on minimum flow, referred to as "base environmental minimum". The latter may be estimated from the unregulated parts of observed or simulated daily flow records. Environmental flow requirements for individual months of an individual year may be calculated using correction factors related to monthly rainfall. Simple relationships are suggested for base environmental flow estimation at ungauged sites, and the implications of river pollution for monthly environmental requirements are examined. Further, definition of environmentally critical periods in a stream is proposed based on a ratio of observed to "environmental" flow as an indicator of environmental stress. It is illustrated that the conjunctive use of several closely located streams for water supply may significantly reduce the duration of, or completely eliminate, environmentally critical periods. The idea of environmentally acceptable areal water withdrawal is formulated, so that the overall approach may be applied for environmentally sustainable water withdrawal management in other small streams.
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 describes the leading world trends and factors of state regulation of “green” energy development as a key element of energy safety of mankind at transition stage to globalized society. Paradigm change of energy safety of mankind, problems and obstacles on the way to abandon hydrocarbons use as the main energy sources and replace them by renewable environmentally friendly sources are analyzed. International and national normative legal documents regulating functioning and “green” energy development are characterized. Mechanisms for strengthening Ukraine’s energy safety by acceleration stimulating of construction of new generation power plants using exclusively renewable energy sources in our country were proposed.
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