Caspian Sea 2011

State of the Environment of the Caspian Sea

0.3 – 0.5 ha in size to 50 – 100 ha. Because these lands have laid fallow for a considerable time, both the upper, fertile strata and deep rocks in the land are polluted with crude oil. In many of these areas, small pits and lakes polluted with oil have been transformed into dumping grounds for man- ufacturing and construction waste and household rubbish (TACIS 2009). On the Absheron peninsula, land areas pol- luted with oil and those requiring recultivation are state-owned lands located mainly in the Karadag, Sabunchi, Binagadi, Surakhani and Azizbekov regions. The areas where pollution is considered to be most severe are Pirallahi, Gala, Mashtagi, Romanah, Sabunchi, Surakhani, Bina- gadi and Garadag (TACIS 2009). Oil pollution on the peninsula is recorded at various depths: 1,029.2 ha is polluted to a depth of 10 cm 857.3 ha to 25 cm 1,285.7 ha to 50 cm remaining lands to more than 50 cm Recent large-scale studies looked at soil prop- erties in the upper layers of lands in the eastern part of the Absheron Peninsula. Results revealed that upper soil layers have been subject to con- siderable change, due both to a rise in the sea level linked with a rise in groundwater and also to contaminants associated with oil wells and irriga- tion. The studies showed that underground water levels are approaching the soil surface (depth 0,5 – 1,5 m) in Pirshagi – Kurdakhani, Bina – Airport, Sarai – Khirdilan, Binagadi – Novkhani, while in other areas, the formation of man-made lakes has led to waterlogging and secondary saliniza- tion. The estimate is that up to 5.0 thousand ha of arable soil is damaged and is not suitable for agricultural production (TACIS 2009). In total 14 thousand ha are contaminated by oil and 10 thousand ha of contaminated lands are in Absheron peninsula. There are also oil-polluted lands in the Siyazan- neft area. These lands spread in a narrow strip from the borders of Zarat village to the town of

Siyazan between the Caspian Sea and the Baku- Siyazan highway. Oil well pollution also encom- passes the resort of Galaalty (TACIS 2009). On the Siyazan massif, amounts of oil are soak- ing into the upper soil layer (0-14 cm) forming a 21% column mass, while the content sharply de- creases to 2.1% at lower layers (14-26 cm). Land in the Salyan region is oil-polluted; 4,177.2 ha of land is polluted as a result of an- thropogenic products. In the Neftechala region, more than 3,425 ha of land has been polluted due to anthropogenic activities such as oil dumps and secondary sa- linization. Included in that figure, 1,768 ha is pol- luted with oil. Oil-contaminated soil contents are: 100 ha polluted to a depth of 0-10 cm, 70 ha to a depth of 0-25 cm and 6.8 ha to a depth of 0-50 cm (TACIS 2009). By 2010 45 ha of contaminated lands have been cleaned in Pirallahi, 9 ha in Tagiyev, 15 ha in Si- yazan, and 40 ha in Salyan. State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has prepared a two-phase recovery programme for lands previ- ously affected by oil exploration. In the first phase 2800 ha of land will be mechanically and biologi- cally remediated. The second phase encompasses technical reclamation of the land. As regards agricultural waste, it has been not- ed that there has been a dramatic decrease in the use of pesticides in Azerbaijan. According to available statistics, only about 500 tonnes of pesticides were used in 2000 compared with more than 38,000 tonnes in 1988 (UNECE 2004). In 2006, a national inventory was carried out, mainly to identify sites with stockpiles of DDT and other POPs listed in 2006 (WB 2009). Since then the distribution of pesticides in the country has changed by the removal of many pesticides – mainly the solid ones – from former distribution centers to a site at Jangi or to other locations. The inventory indicated that there were about 3,084 tonnes of pesticide stocks at central stores


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