Top managers of Norilsk Nickel face jail or a fine in Finland

Police of the south-western region of the country handed over the case on violation of environmental legislation by the plant in Harjavalta to the prosecutor office.
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Top managers of "Norilsk Nickel" in Finland faces prison and fines for environmental violations, which were committed to the company's plant in Harjavalta. The police have handed over to the prosecutor case on violation of environmental legislation by the local owned "Norilsk Nickel".

The prosecutor's office of the Finnish city of Pori "News" confirmed that the materials of the case from the police received.

- For the preparation of the indictment and the trial will take a few weeks - said the "News" the representative of the prosecutor's office.

According to him, responsibility for violation of environmental legislation displaced persons c «Norilsk Nickel» plant in Harjavalta could face imprisonment from 4 months to 6 years and a fine of tens of thousands of euros.

In July last year as a result of emergency at the plant "Norilsk Nickel" in the west of Finland in a local river Keokemyaki got about 66 tonnes of nickel waste. According to Finnish media, cause emissions into the river was the breakdown of equipment (heat exchanger) in the BPEmja start of the production process at the factory. As a result, the nickel content in the river exceeded the usual indicators of 400 times.

Authorities advised residents to limit the use of river water, for example, to irrigate gardens and steam sauna, and found the dead fish and shellfish take on research in the food safety agency (Evira).

At a press conference after the accident, the managing director of the plant "Norilsk Nickel" in Harjavalta Yoni Hautoyarvi apologized to residents for the leak, adding that the incident shook and camih employees. He said the company is fully responsible for the state of emergency and take care to minimize the possible damage.

After the leak with a statement about the investigation into the nickel pollution in Harjavalta police asked the representatives of the South-Western Branch of the Center for Economic Development Transport and the Environment (ELY) Finland. Local police are investigating the incident as a crime and malicious violation of environmental legislation on nature protection.

The representative of the Finnish prosecutor's office could not answer inquestion of the amount of damage caused by emissions from the plant into the river Kokemäki.

The representative of Greenpeace Finland Juha Aroma also confirmed "News" information that the investigation was completed and she was transferred to the prosecutor. He also found it difficult to estimate the size of the damage caused to nature.

Finnish media have called this the release of the largest in the country's history. However, according to aroma, still the biggest release of water containing toxic uranium, and nickel sulfate, occurred in the mine "Talviavaara" in 2012 as a result of the breakthrough of the settler. The two CEOs of the mine have been accused of the prosecutor's office in violation of environmental legislation, the Finnish press reported last fall. The case is considered in court, where the company leaders will have to answer the accusations of the plaintiffs (several fisheries associations of Finland, the State Forestry Administrator, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and two of the owner of the enterprise).

Representatives of the "Norilsk Nickel" declined to comment.

PredsedatSpruce environmental movement "Green World" Oleg Bodrov told "Izvestia", that in assessing the amount of damages should be considered a violation of the process of reproduction of fish and shellfish populations, because in most of the rivers in Finland fish spawn.

- It is important that border Russia as a neighbor to adequately respond to the violation of environmental laws of large industrial companies. For the "Norilsk Nickel" this will be a lesson that the company should take the right and not to violate environmental legislation, not only in Finland, but also in Russia, - said Oleg Bodrov.

Lawyers interviewed by "Izvestia" unanimous: to evaluate the results of the Finnish prosecutors is premature, although it was the completion of the police investigation of the case and the public attention it indicates that it does not pull on the brakes. At the same time, "Norilsk Nickel" is desirable to carry out activities to minimize the consequences of the damage.

- In most EU countries there is a fairly tough legislation on liability for environmenENGLISH damage. As a rule, it can not be restricted and can be placed both on the company and its management. It can be worn as a civil, and administrative and even criminal nature. Minimize "punishment" can be primarily through compensation for damage caused to the environment, follow the appropriate set of measures. In addition, the environmental risks are usually insured, so the damage can be covered by such insurance, - he told "Izvestiya" partner, head of the international practice of the law firm "Nektorov, Saveliev and Partners" Marat Davletbaev.

The earlier the consequences of the accident will be completely eliminated tortfeasor, the less reason to talk about bringing to the company and its management responsibility, thereby further confirmed his good faith, says Artem Rodin, CMS international law firm Adviser.

"Norilsk Nickel" has acquired a plant in Harjavalta at OM Group in 2006. This is the largest company in Finland belonging to the Russian business. In 2014the plant produced 42.6 thous. tons of nickel (44.2 ths. tons in 2013), it follows from the company's annual report. MMC "Norilsk Nickel" is the world's largest producer of palladium and one of the largest - the nickel, platinum and copper. Vladimir Potanin controls 30% of shares "Norilsk Nickel», UC Rusal Oleg Deripaska - 28%, Crispian Investments (controlled by Roman Abramovich) - 6%, "Metalloinvest" - 3%, even 33% of the company's shares are in free float.