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Environmentalists In Irkutsk File Baikal Lawsuit

The paper mill on Lake Baikal
The paper mill on Lake Baikal
IRKUTSK, Russia -- The opposition Solidarity movement's branch in Irkutsk and local environmentalists have filed a lawsuit against the Russian government with the Supreme Court, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The activists are challenging the government's decision to resume operations of a paper mill on Lake Baikal, the world's largest body of fresh water.

In mid-January Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a decree allowing the industrial facility to resume dumping waste in the lake.

The activists say the paper mill's operations will drastically affect local flora and fauna and that the local population's right to a safe environment will be violated.