Norilsk, in Russian Arctic, One of the Most Polluted Places on Earth

"A smelting company has poisoned rivers, killed off boreal forest and belched out more sulfur dioxide than active volcanoes. Now it wants to produce more metal for the “green economy.”"

"It was 2 a.m. and the sun was shining, as it does day and night in mid-July in Norilsk, a Siberian city 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Igor Klyushin went to the bank of the river where he used to fish with his father for grayling, a sleek and dorsal-finned beauty known for its graceful leaps above the water surface. “A very merry fish,” Klyushin recalled. “It enjoys cold and clean, clean water.”

He doubted there would be grayling there that night, but if there were, authorities had long warned it was unsafe to fish for them in the Daldykan River.

And besides, he wasn’t there to fish. He began to record video of the clay-colored muck flowing downriver from somewhere beyond a railway overpass that is a gateway to one of the largest metal mining and smelting complexes in the world. The discolored water represented “the latest environmental crime of Norilsk Nickel,” Klyushin said in the video he posted on “Norilchane”— or “Citizens of Norilsk”—the YouTube channel he helps moderate."

Marianne Lavelle reports for Inside Climate News November 28, 2021 in partnership with NBC News and Undark Magazine.

Source: Inside Climate News, 11/29/2021