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Russian Officials: Amount Of Poison From Spill Dropping --> Workers built sandbag barriers to help reduce the affects of the toxic spill (file photo) (epa) 25 December 2005 -- Officials and environmental experts in the Far East Russian city of Khabarovsk said today the concentration of nitrobenzene in the water of the Amur River is dropping.

The contaminated water, caused by a chemical plant accident in China last month, reached Khabarovsk on 22 December.

Officials in the area have been taking water samples from the river at regular intervals to check the amount of poison still present in the river.

The front of the toxic slick is now 50 kilometers downstream from Khabarovsk and officials from the regional Emergency Situations Ministry said they were gradually shifting their focus to those areas downstream that the spill is now reaching.

In a related event, Khabarovsk environmental official German Novomodny said today he did not believe toxic slick would be a danger to marine life when it reaches the Pacific Ocean.


Chinese Chemical Spill

A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.

Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)

See also:

After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy