Last week, the people of Kiselevsk and Prokopyevsk experienced something peculiar. The folks went to sleep after a long day of heavy snowfall and woke up the next morning to find that all of the white snow has changed color to black over the course of the night.
Worried citizen of the two Russian cities shared videos and pictures with concerns. The pictures and videos expose the ugly reality of living in coal mining areas. What actually happened was that the snow-covered streets and fields were covered with a thick layer of coal dust and soot that robbed the snow of its defining white color and turned it .
Do not confuse the dirty snow that you have seen before with this particular black snow that was observed in Kiselevsk and Prokopyevsk. It is a truly disturbing and rare sight that has the locals raising concerns about the air that they and their children are breathing on a daily basis. A lot of them used social media for voicing their concerns and pressurizing authorities into taking some sort of action against the coal processing plants that are active in the area. However, local officials have said that the actual problem is a bit more intricate than that.
Andrey Panov, Deputy Governor of the Kemerovo Region for Industry, Transport and Ecology said that the development of gas networks in the area hadn’t received much support because of the fact that many of the buildings are still dependent on coal boilers for the sake of heating.
According to Anatoly Volkov, the general director of the Prokopievskaya coal plant near Prokopyevsk said that his company makes use of special shutters that make sure that nearby cities are protected from the harmful compounds. However, it is quite hard for us to believe that the said plant is not responsible even in part of the blackening of the snow.
Russia’s environmental agency has sprung to life and has already sent a team of inspectors for investigating two coal processing plants. The team will be checking if the pollution limit for the said plants was exceeded or not!