Remediating a fuel polluted military site in Ukraine

  • 27 May. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 27 May. 2016 16:04

A military base in Ukraine established in 1975 serves as a fuel deposit, which supplies fuel to other military bases in its vicinity. This military base, located in the residential areas of Kyiv, has caused significant groundwater pollution and soil contamination. To help remedy this situation, an SPS flagship project-- The Remediation of Hydrocarbon Polluted Military Site in Ukraine – was launched in 2012, as a joint cooperative activity between experts from France and Ukraine. Modern equipment has been provided by NATO to help Ukraine remediate the pollution caused by this facility.

In an official ceremony, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Assistant Secretary General of the Emerging Security Challenges Division, and Ambassador Ihor Dolhov, Deputy Defence Minister of Ukraine for European Integration, marked the successful completion of this important SPS project and the hand-over of valuable equipment to Ukraine.

“This project is not only about environmental security, it also ensures the safety of the local population located in residential areas in Kyiv,” explained Ambassador Dolhov. He further stressed the long-lasting impact of the SPS project that was led by the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) in France, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Institute of geologic Sciences of Ukraine. After the completion of the remediation project, the competences acquired will be expanded to other military sites.

The pollution of soil and groundwater caused by the fuel deposit in the military site has been an important, complicated and difficult problem to tackle especially as this site is located in an urban area. The aim of this project has been to research and develop more efficient technologies to eliminate the pollution. The measurement of the geological and hydrogeological context will enable the development of a remediation model and the design of appropriate devices. The results of this project have enabled the Ukrainian experts to acquire the know-how and skills necessary to master these increasingly complex technologies and to expand these competencies to other sites.

“The NATO SPS Programme has played a key role, in providing Ukraine with the necessary expertise and capabilities to conduct the remediation of this site. I am pleased to see that this project provided the opportunity for young scientists to be engaged, and is an excellent example of successful civil-military cooperation”, Ambassador Ducaru stated with regard to the project.

The collaboration between the various institutions and experts participating in the project will enable a generation of young scientists to develop expertise in a critical security domain. It will build the capabilities of future generations to better protect the environment and populations.