Caspian Sea 2011

State of the Environment of the Caspian Sea

main limited. The study revealed that the river is highly polluted by the petroleum hydrocarbons. It was also very clear that the Upper part of the Terek stream could be considered as more pol- luted then Lower part of the river. The monitoring results registered the petroleum hydrocarbons as high as 29 times exceeding the maximum allowed concentrations. The study concluded that trace metals such as copper, lead and nickel concentra- tions were elevated, but some can be explained by high background concentrations (CEP 2007 h). Other rivers Information from other rivers discharging into the Caspian Sea is very limited. The CEP report- ed in 2007 that concentrations of heavy metals were generally low. There appears to be no re- cent published data for the Ural or Sefidroud Rivers, which may be expected to discharge pol- lutants in to the Caspian Sea. It is difficult to properly assess the water qual- ity of the Caspian Sea due to significant gaps in data availability. Monitoring of the contaminant load and flow volumes of rivers entering the Caspian Sea is incomplete. For example, there is a lack of systematic data collection from the rivers Volga and Ural and other significant riv- ers entering the system. Data collection is ex- pensive and to be effective, a system designed to reflect river dynamics and human activities needs to be implemented. 5.2. State of air quality Air quality depends on the magnitude of both natural emissions and those caused by humans and, in terms of mitigation, the capability of ecosystems to absorb such emissions and abate pollutants. The 2002 Transboundary Diagnos- tic Analyses reported on a decline in air qual- ity, but the studies contained little supporting information. In the Global International Water Assessment Report on the Caspian Sea, indus- try-related air pollution was cited as a cause of community movement and habitat loss. In the

2006 Transboundary Diagnostic Analyses, air quality issues were not reported. It is clear from sources such as Environmental Performance Reviews by UNECE, National State of the Environment Reports, Rapid Assessment of Pollution and the National Caspian Action Plans, that air quality remains an environmental concern, particularly in large cities and industrial centres in specific countries. In Azerbaijan, air pollution is most severe in the capital city of Baku and at Sumgayit. These cities host heavy industries such as petrochemi- cal plants, crude oil refineries, and aluminium and cement production (Mansurov 2009). Urban air pollution is an issue of increasing concern in Azerbaijan, caused by rapid urbanization, a growth in transport and rapid economic growth (UNECE 2004, ENVSEC 2004). Another source of air pollution is a landfill situated between Baku and Sumgayit: due to faulty construction and poor management plus illegal dumping and the frequent uncontrolled burning of waste, the site is a major source of toxic emissions in the re- gion’s atmosphere (Mansurov 2009). In 2000, hazardous emissions from road transport amounted to 392,700 tonnes from a total of 423,000 tonnes for all types of motor vehicles. By 2008, such emissions had climbed to 642,000 tonnes. With the total number of vehicles nearly doubled to 823,000, 70% of overall volume of noxious emissions gener- ated from automobile transport. (4th National Report to CBD, p.98) The main sources of air pollution — traffic and industry — tend to be concentrated in and around the large cities (UNECE 2004). At present, the air quality in Baku and Sumgayit is considered to be improving as a consequence of an overall decline in industry, particularly in the petrochemical and oil refinery production sectors. The main problem is now considered to be the rapid increase in emis- sions from the transport sector with the use of low- quality fuels in high-emission vehicles (Mansurov 2009).


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