Please read the stories, and prepare your own story:
– are there features of corruption? If yes, what exactly features are present. Justify your answer.
– should explain main factual circumstances of the case and consequences for society – make them clear without additional reading and understandable to non-experts;
– should clearly demonstrate engagement with the emotions of the creator;
– should include a call for action.
Matsalu National Park Restriction Change Plans (Estonia)
Matsalu national park is an internationally important coastal Naturе protection area. It is also an important bird migratory area. In 2021 the Environment Agency of Estonia started several regulation drafts of Matsalu National Park. Among others there was an initiative for regulation that would remove 23 644 hectares of strict protection zone, and change it to less strict protection category (partially restricted zone) to allow various economical management operations. Intention for this change was unclear. After analyzing the situation and documentation, found by environment analysts in routine checks, it turned out that the Environment Agency had previously ordered an expert assessment that recommended for Matsalu National Park to increase the strict protected areas by 43 000 hectares instead. So, at first impression it was suspicious that the Environment Agency public office working with and around the changes in the regulation draft suddenly decided to remove 23 644 hectares from the strict protection category. By investigating documents, screening through registries, and by making information requests to public offices, it was discovered that the Environment Agency workers had held several meetings with fishing industry representatives who had great interests in those fishing sites in Matsalu bay area.
Ship-to-Ship (STS) naphtha and gas products pumping on Baltic Sea (Estonia)
At the beginning of 2021 Estonian maritime experts discovered naphtha tankers activity in north-west Estonia, near Pakri islands. Pakri islands and surrounding sea is a protected area and Natura 2000 area. The monitoring of maritime activity made through the maritime traffic trackers has revealed daily ship-to-ship naphtha loading operations were conducted for hundreds of thousands of tons in the open sea and in the protected area. Soon after information about this was published in the media, the minister of environment made bold statements, ordering investigations to stop the pumping. Weeks passed, but nothing was still done to stop the STS pumping in the location. More focused analysis of fetched documentation showed that in 2020 a new complete regulation was created allowing STS pumping in Estonia. It appeared that there were almost no government benefits (taxes, fees, etc) for the country, but only high risks and expenses to deal with in case of open sea accidents of STS naphtha products pumping. In a few weeks the minister of environment had a change of heart and softened his originally bold words. Public outcry against STS pumping continued in the media, and eventually pumping was stopped in the nature protection area, but later continued in new places across the coastline of north Estonia.
It is still not clearly understood nor even regulated why and how naphtha products pumping in the sea are allowed and conducted, while the government does not get any substantial benefit.
Violations during the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in the Bagrationovsk district of the Kaliningrad region
Construction of wastewater treatment facilities was carried out with violations. Commissioning of treatment facilities was delayed. After commissioning, many of the declared water quality indicators exceed the limit standards. The construction of additional water treatment facilities was carried out in order to meet the standards.
In nearly all parts of the region, sewage treatment facilities have been rebuilt anew, with money from the EU and the federal budget.
An unauthorized dump in Krasnoselsky District of St. Petersburg, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland
In the Krasnoselsky district of St. Petersburg, on the very shore of the Gulf of Finland, a huge unauthorized dump is arranged. The sediments from the bottom of the rivers of St. Petersburg are being disposed here as well.
Pollution of the Baltic Sea by excreta from the Udarnik poultry farm in Pobeda village, Leningrad Region
The Udarnik Poultry Farm in Pobeda village of Leningrad Region has caused and continues to cause damage to the environment with the excreta it produces. There is a problem with the repair of wastewater treatment facilities in the area.
Kapraliev Creek’s pollution by untreated sewage from the Novoye Devyatkino village and from there into the Okhta River, the Neva River, and the Gulf of Finland
In Novoye Ninotkino village, sewage is released into the Leningrad Region’s water bodies. The authorities were directly prohibited from issuing construction permits without a connection to the sewage network, but such a permit was issued.
Reconstruction of the wastewater treatment facilities in Kaliningrad
During the construction of wastewater treatment facilities in Kaliningrad, there were delays in their commissioning, as well as violations and shortcomings in the use of funds, as confirmed by the Accounts Chamber.
Construction of a deep-water port near the city of Primorsky (Leningrad region)
Constructing a deep-water port in the Leningrad region has been planned. When approving its construction, economic and environmental risks have been elicited. The economic risks were confirmed by experts, the environmental risks by experts as well as the public environmental expertise. It states the port operation does not meet the environmental requirements established by the Russian environmental protection laws and international Conventions, as well as adverse effects of the planned activity on the environment and social, economic, environmental and other consequences related to it.
Pollution of the Lesnaya River, Kaliningrad
In Kaliningrad the Lesnaya River has been polluted for a long time. The main cause use of pollution is the “Product Pitaniya” food factory. The Kaliningrad region authorities asserted that the problem was being solved for a very long time (and was clearly prolonged). However even after the issue has been solved by connecting the factory to the city sewer, pollution continued from the storm sewer.