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Two billion trees in forests and 15 million trees in settlements to be planted in Kazakhstan — Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources

Tuesday, 24 November 2020, 12:11:03

At a government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev reported on measures to address environmental problems in the regions.

As Mirzagaliyev noted, today the new Environmental Code has been adopted in the second hearing in the Majilis of the Parliament. It aims to significantly reduce the impact on the environment.

“However, without waiting for the adoption of the new Environmental Code, based on the concept of the ‘Hearing State’, environmental problems and ways of solving them with the public, especially with eco-activists in all regions, were considered,” the minister informed.

In total, 17 online meetings were held, about 25 thousand people attended. Based on the results of the discussion, together with the public, akimats and users of natural resources, 17 Road Maps were developed. These documents provide for specific measures to improve the environmental situation in the regions.

“We are all concerned about the following major environmental issues. These are pollution of atmospheric air and surface waters, imperfect waste management system, historical pollution and lack of landscaping,” Mirzagaliyev noted.

According to environmental monitoring of atmospheric air at the end of 2019, out of 45 settlements, 10 cities belong to a high level of air pollution. These are the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Karaganda, Temirtau, Atyrau, Aktobe, Balkhash, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Zhezkazgan and Shymkent. In addition, a significant amount of pollutant emissions falls on the Pavlodar region.

Mirzagaliyev reported on measures to improve the ecological situation in the regions. Thus, the pollution of Almaty city is caused by emissions from heat sources of CHPP-2 and CHPP-3, vehicles and private houses of Almaty region, which were not supplied with gas, adjacent to the city.

The roadmap, prepared to improve the ecological situation in the city of Almaty, includes 20 events. The main ones are: transfer of CHPP-2 and CHPP-3 to gas, gas supply to the private sector areas adjacent to the city, transfer of vehicles of utilities and public transport to compressed natural gas, a phased ban on public transport on diesel fuel, consider restrictions on the entry / movement of transit transports and landscaping. Also, conducting studies of the wind regime and, taking this into account, making changes to the rules of the architectural appearance and adjusting the general construction plans.

"As a result of the implementation of measures, the volume of emissions of pollutants will decrease from 144 thousand tons to 79.5 thousand tons, or by 44%, that is, the air pollution index (API) will decrease from a high level (8) to an average level (6),’’ Mirzagaliyev noted.

The Roadmap of Aktobe region provides for 33 events. Key activities: environmental modernization of the Aktobe ferroalloy plant, reconstruction of the sewage treatment complex in Aktobe, landscaping, cleaning of river beds, organization of monitoring studies of groundwater in Kokzhid, elimination of hazardous waste from the former Alga chemical plant, construction of 8 new landfills and reclamation of old ones.

The Roadmap of Atyrau region consists of 40 events. This includes the construction of new and restoration of old sewage treatment facilities, reclamation of the Tukhlaya Balka and Kvadrat evaporation fields, greening, cleaning and rehabilitation of the Ural River basin and other important activities.

The Roadmap of the East Kazakhstan region provides 35 events. It is planned such measures as equipping the Ridder Metallurgical Plant with environmentally friendly technologies, modernization of treatment facilities for harmful gases at the CHPP located in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, reconstruction of existing and construction of new sewage treatment facilities, identification and elimination of local foci of radioactive pollution, elimination of unauthorized dumps.

The Roadmap of the Karaganda region provides for 57 events. In order to reduce the negative impact on the environment, the ArcelorMittal Temirtau enterprise provides for the reconstruction of boiler equipment and gas cleaning equipment, the removal of the lime burning shop outside the city of Temirtau and the construction of a new sulfuric acid shop at the Kazakhmys enterprise in the city of Zhezkazgan.

In addition, in order to reduce emissions of the Kazakhmys Energy enterprise in the city of Balkhash, measures are being taken such as modernization, gas connection of housing, socially significant objects, greening of the cities of Temirtau, Zhezkazgan, Balkhash.

It is envisaged to build an industrial wastewater treatment unit in the city of Temirtau and new sewage treatment facilities in Balkhash and Zhezkazgan, waste disposal of ArcelorMittal Temirtau, construction of a bioelectric power station in Zhezkazgan and land reclamation of Darial-U.

The Roadmap of Pavlodar region consists of 33 items. It provides for the following important environmental measures: reconstruction of the gas cleaning system at the Kazchrome enterprise and processing 982 thousand tons of slag, equipping the Eurasian Energy Corporation power unit with environmental technologies, reconstruction of the gas cleaning system at the Aluminum of Kazakhstan enterprise, landscaping, the introduction of recycled water supply and construction of 9 new landfills.

In general, thanks to the implementation of measures, the volume of dust emissions will be reduced by at least 30%.

For a systematic solution to the problem of a low level of waste recycling at the legislative level, the Waste to Energy technology is being introduced. This is a technology that burns waste and generates electricity, which is sold to the public electricity grid. Just recently, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a corresponding bill.

Pilot projects aimed at processing solid household waste, at the first stage, will be implemented in 6 cities. These are Aktobe, Almaty, Atyrau, Nur-Sultan, Taraz and Shymkent. Today, there is an active study of the issue with the akimats on the availability of land plots, infrastructure and guaranteed waste loading. In case of successful implementation of pilot projects, factories will be built in other cities.

Thanks to this technology, it is planned to bring the processing rate to 30% by 2025, that is, to the average European level.

“The adoption of the new Environmental Code will provide systemic solutions aimed at improving the environmental situation in the country. Taking into account that the solution of environmental problems in the regions requires complex measures and significant time expenditures, we consider it necessary in the short term to implement the measures indicated in the Roadmaps,” the minister emphasized.

Their implementation will allow:

1. To reduce the air pollution index from a high to an average level in 10 cities;

2. To bring the level of waste processing from the current 15% to 30%;

3. To build 24 new landfills, as well as remediate and eliminate 5 overflowing landfills;

4. To carry out reclamation and liquidation of historically contaminated lands;

5. To construct 7 new sewage treatment facilities and reconstruct 12 sewage treatment facilities;

6. To plant 2 billion trees in forested areas and 15 million trees in settlements.

Also at the meeting, akims of the East Kazakhstan region Danial Akhmetov, Aktobe region — Ondasyn Urazalin, Pavlodar region — Abylkair Skakov, Atyrau region — Makhambet Dosmukhambetov, Almaty city - Bakytzhan Sagintayev made reports.

Akim of the East Kazakhstan region Danial Akhmetov said that the region is implementing a Comprehensive Plan and a Roadmap for a comprehensive solution of environmental problems.

The total investment in improving the environment will be about 60 billion tenge.

In particular, 24 billion tenge will be invested in the quality of atmospheric air within 5 years, of which 22.1 billion tenge will be invested in the "Construction of an atmospheric leaching workshop at the Ridder metallurgical complex using the HydroPolyMet technology", which will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere by 714 tons, or 20% of the level of the current standards for the city of Ridder.

“At the same time, it should be noted that the total volume of emissions over the past 7 years in the region decreased by 10 thousand tons, in Ust-Kamenogorsk — by 7 thousand tons. Large enterprises have invested 35.2 billion tenge in environmental protection measures during this period,” Akhmetov said.

A system of environmental public monitoring has been organized in the regional center. Conditions have been created for unhindered online access to environmental information.

Green belts of settlements are being systematically created. Last year, 170 thousand trees were planted, this year about 30 thousand trees.

An Action Plan has been developed to increase the volume of reforestation and planting of greenery in settlements until 2025 with a total volume of about 1 billion tenge, of which 65 million tenge is planned to be spent by large industrial enterprises.

On the disposal of solid waste, preliminary agreements were signed with the EBRD for 23.5 billion tenge to modernize the system of solid waste management in the cities of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey.

Work is underway to determine the land plot for the landfill in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

Regarding the regulation of water resources, measures are provided for a total amount of 10.1 billion tenge, of which this year the construction of deep wastewater treatment facilities in the Ulba River on the territory of the metallurgical complex in Ust-Kamenogorsk for 1.6 billion tenge is being completed, reconstruction of the Ertis River for 1.1 billion tenge, by 2024 it is planned to complete the reconstruction of treatment facilities and storm sewers in Semey. Environmental issues are under special control.

Akim of Aktobe region Ondasyn Urazalin noted that a detailed analysis of environmental problems was carried out in the region, on the basis of which, together with the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, a Roadmap for improving the environmental situation in the region was formed from 33 events.

“Aktobe is one of the most unfavorable in terms of air conditions. The main factors of air pollution are emissions from the sewerage system and the Aktobe ferroalloy plant located within the city,” said the akim of the Aktobe region.

The plant is implementing a project for the reconstruction of the dust and gas cleaning system of workshops No. 1 and No. 2, completion of work is scheduled for 2022, emissions of inorganic dust will be reduced to 20%.

In order to reduce emissions of hydrogen sulfide from the sewage system, control over discharges of enterprises into the general sewage system has been strengthened, work has been carried out to install local treatment facilities and grease traps by enterprises.

At the same time, the main solution to the problem is the reconstruction of the WWTP (a complex of treatment facilities). This year, the Kazakhstan Center for the Modernization of Housing and Communal Services is developing a feasibility study for the reconstruction of the WWTP, design and estimate documentation will be developed during 2021, the project is scheduled to be implemented in 2022.

The oil and gas industry increased the utilization of associated gas to 97.8%.

Another area of ​​work is landscaping. A three-year Forestry Development Plan has been developed, which provides for the planting of more than 1 million seedlings in settlements of the region and more than 60 million pieces of seedlings in the forest fund (financing in the amount of more than 3 billion tenge is provided from the local budget).

Also, the Roadmap provides for measures to regulate water resources, waste management, protect land resources and improve the ecological culture of the population. As of today, the implementation is proceeding in accordance with the schedule, the work to improve the environmental situation will continue.

“Currently, a number of issues are being worked out with the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources: preservation of the Kokzhide deposit, elimination of waste from the Alga chemical plant, cleaning the bottom of Lake Shalkar,” Ondasyn Urazalin said at the end of his speech.

As the akim of Pavlodar region Abylkair Skakov noted, in September this year in the region together with the branch ministry adopted a Roadmap for stabilizing the environmental situation in the region.

Within the framework of the Roadmap, industrial enterprises of the region are implementing environmental protection measures.

Thus, in Pavlodar Aluminum Smelter, two electrostatic precipitators were replaced with innovative hybrid ones, which reduced dust by almost 2.4 thousand tons per year.

A similar technology with the use of bag filters is being introduced at power unit No. 7 of the power plant of EEC JSC in Aksu. After the completion of the reconstruction in 2024, the power unit will emit 9 thousand tons of dust less.

The bag filters are being replaced in the shops of the Kazakhstan Electrolysis Plant.

At the AZF of TNK KazChrome JSC, the reconstruction of gas cleaning facilities of shop No. 4 (furnaces 42, 43, 44) is underway, which will reduce dust emissions by 180 tons in 3 years.

Thus, the new environmental strategy adopted by the enterprises of the Eurasian Group will make it possible to gradually reduce dust emissions by 55 thousand tons or 57% over 10 years.

In addition, at Ekibastuz GRES-1, repairs are underway for the electrostatic precipitators of units 4 and 6. When completed in 2021, dust emissions will be reduced by 100 tons per year.

The region has organized online access to information on the level of pollution through an interactive map (maps.hydromet.kz), a mobile application (AirKZ) and LED screens in different parts of the regional center.

A step-by-step plan for increasing the volume of forest reproduction has been developed and agreed with the sectoral ministry, within the framework of which 74 million seedlings will be planted over an area of ​​16.5 thousand hectares in 5 years.

In addition, a comprehensive regional program for urban greening is being developed, which provides for the planting of 20 thousand trees annually for 5 years.

Online public hearings had a positive impact on the growth of population participation (the number of participants in the hearings increased from 15 to 80 people). Since the beginning of the year, 95 hearings have been held in the region, incl. 76 - in ZOOM.

The Environmental Council has been operating in the region since 2015, the composition of which has qualitatively changed this year. Now the share of NGOs in the composition has been increased from 3 to 10 (with a total number of participants - 25). The format of the advisory body's work has been reoriented with an emphasis on deeper consideration of problematic issues and focus on the final result.

Akim of Atyrau region Makhambet Dosmukhambetov said that work is being carried out in the region in 7 directions of the Roadmap to solve environmental problems for 2020-2022.

These are:

1. Reduction of emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.

2. Landscaping.

3. Scope of waste management.

4. Regulation of water resources.

5. Reducing vehicle emissions.

6. Protection of land resources.

7. Raising pro-environmental culture.

According to the akim, the main environmental problem of the region is the quality of atmospheric air in the city of Atyrau. In accordance with the Roadmap, special measures have been developed to reduce the volume of emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere by large industrial enterprises. At the end of 2019, users of natural resources released 180 thousand tons of pollutants into the air. By the end of 2020, it is planned to reduce emissions by 2,300 tons compared to 2019.

Akimat of Atyrau region, for its part, within the framework of the Roadmap, is working on the completion of the construction of a sewage treatment plant in the left-bank part of the city of Atyrau, reclamation of the Tukhlaya Balka and Kvadrat evaporation fields.

Akim of Almaty Bakytzhan Sagintayev at the beginning of his speech expressed gratitude for solving the long-term problem with the modernization of CHP-2. According to the chosen option - conversion to natural gas - emissions will be reduced from 38 thousand tons to 6 thousand tons. This will have a big impact on the air of Almaty city in the future. According to the plan, in 2025 all 8 blocks of CHPP-2 will be converted to natural gas. Regarding the modernization of CHPP-3, the akim noted that work has begun, the issue of the source of funding is being resolved.

Reporting on the gas supply to the private sector, Sagintayev noted that today 99% of the city's residents are provided with gas. 1,848 houses are not connected to gas. Basically, they do not have main structures. Akimat signed an agreement with Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, which will provide a loan at 0% for 1.5 years. For low-income families, the Akimat will carry out constructions with the involvement of sponsors. By the end of 2021, everything will be switched to gas.

At the same time, in the areas adjacent to the city, about 80 thousand subscribers continue to use solid fuel. In particular, the western, eastern and northern directions. The solution to this issue also requires an integrated approach.

About 530 thousand cars are registered in the city, about 250 thousand more are entering from other regions, which creates an enormous burden on the city's ecology.

In this regard, a large-scale transport reform is being carried out in the city. According to the experience of developed countries, the key area is public transport.

A ban on the purchase of diesel public transport was introduced in January.

For the route Medeu - Shymbulak, together with Operator ROP LLP, electric vehicles are being purchased to reduce anthropogenic load on the natural landscape.

“At the same time, incoming nonresident vehicles often do not comply with environmental standards. In 2020 alone, employees of 10 eco-posts issued 33 thousand fines. Here we are also strengthening our work and increasing the number of eco-posts at the entrance to the city. So, work is underway to install 19 eco-posts around the perimeter of the city to control and measure emissions,” said the akim of Almaty.

The city's green fund is more than 2.3 million green spaces. Within three years, 1 million green spaces will be planted in Almaty. Thanks to this, oxygen production will increase by 150% and 118 million tons per year. All these measures will reduce emissions by 40 thousand tons per year.

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