Article by Sakhalin Independent
Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 operators and contractors violate Russian laws

At a session of the regional administration on July 28, chief Sakhalin doctor Boris Darizhapov reported on violations of Russian laws by companies carrying out the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects.

Between April 26 and July 9, specialists of the regional sanitary and epidemiological service and regional officials checked projects sites at eight districts on Sakhalin. A total of six Sakhalin-1 camps and seven Sakhalin-2 camps were inspected, Darizhapov said. The inspectors also checked offices of Sakhalin-1 operator Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL) and Sakhalin-2 operator Sakhalin Energy (SEIC), apartments where employees of the companies live and contractors providing food and communal services to the operators.

As a result of the check-ups, numerous violations of Russian laws and standards were discovered, Darizhapov said. According to him, regular medical examination and immunisation of foreign workers are not conducted.

The inspectors also discovered violation of construction regulations. People are moved into apartments where ventilation and sewage systems, canteens and laundry facilities are not completed, Darizhapov said. The issue of wastes' utilisation is not solved by the companies.

During the check-up of canteens, inspectors found that cooking technologies, terms and storage conditions are not observed. Project operators do not control whether contractors observe sanitary standards. Catering companies do not use locally produced products enough, Darizhapov stressed.

Twelve officials and two companies were fined over 4,000 dollars for breaking sanitary standards and work of nine sites was halted until violations were remedied, Darizhapov reported. Inspectors requested companies to make 646 improvements, until July 8 only 67 percent was completed, he mentioned.

Inspection of observation of environmental laws by companies showed that in the past year oil spills, leakages of potassium and other violations were registered at the Sakhalin-1 project. Sakhalin-2 operator does not inform governmental bodies about violation of environmental laws, Darizhapov said.

Safety investigation discovered that the number of industrial injuries in the construction companies involved in the project grew 21 percent in 2003 compared to 2002. Last year, 52 workers were injured and five of them died.

According to Darizhapov, SEIC does not give safety training. During four months, 19 industrial accidents happened in the company.

The regional administration issued a decree requesting controlling bodies to work out a list of measures companies had to take to remedy law violations. The list will be worked out by September 1.