Russia’s ‘acid’ river
is devastating nearby nature
The streams turned orange after a spill
from a nearby abandoned copper mine
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ECOLOGIST, ANDREI VOLEGOV, SAYING:
"Sulfuric acid reaction takes place here and this sulfuric acid burns out everything in the area - soil, trees, destroys the surface layer, grass, fish die. All these heavy metals in soluble
form should not be in the water."
Volegov says an accident in 1997 caused the mine to flood
the consequences were never fully resolved
Now the water comes up through the mine shafts
and causes a chemical reaction
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RESIDENT OF LEVIKHA VILLAGE, VALERY SAYAPIN, SAYING:
"Previously there was a variety of fish, but now that's what we have."
JOURNALIST ASKING: "Because of the mine?
"The mine waters are down there, where there are old quarries, but here on the pond there is nothing like that."
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RESIDENT OF LEVIKHA VILLAGE, NAIL, SAYING:
"How can this not be poison? All the acid goes into the river, there is no fish now, there is nothing there."
Russian prosecutors are now checking the facility
and have launched an official investigation