At the Group level we monitor the number of significant EHS non-compliances. Major environmental non-compliances are large spills (over 100 litres) into the environment, major deviations from environmental permit terms, and other non-compliances having a significant impact on the environment.
Spills and environmental non-compliances in 2015
In 2015 there were two spills of more than 100 litres (2014: 3) into the environment. At the Chelyabinsk CHP2 power plant about 3 m3 of ash transport water was released into the soil. A leak in the Tyumen district heat network resulted in hot water and steam being released to the ground surface. The events didn’t have significant environmental effects. The Tyumen district heat network’s leak caused a burn on a pedestrian who intentionally made his way into the fenced-off accident area.
In conjunction with modification work to the Kivenlahti heat boilers in Finland, instances of ash emissions occurred resulting in ash falling onto the roofs of buildings and onto parked cars. Fortum paid for 24 cars to be washed and waxed.
Permit violations in 2015
There were no significant environmental permit violations in our European operations in 2015. The total number of permit violations in Russia was 14 (2014: 15). Of these, 12 were related to wastewater discharges. Studies continued on measures to reduce the discharge water permit violations.
Fortum’s website has a grievance channel that our stakeholders can use to report suspected misconduct or problems caused by our operations. No new environment-related grievances were reported to us through this channel in 2015.
During the year we continued measures to reduce the excessive night-time lighting and the noise level previously reported by some neighbours of the Jelgava power plant. The power plant has also received complaints about biofuel transports on Saturdays and public holidays; these deliveries are unavoidable during the winter season.
The lighting problem was resolved in early 2015 by changing some of the lights to a warmer colour temperature range. To reduce the noise level experienced by residents, we continued enclosing equipment and implementing other technical solutions, even though the noise caused by the power plant’s operations do not exceed the permitted limits.
We communicated with the residents about the progress of the measures at resident meetings, personally via email, and through local media. After the measures were completed, we invited residents to an official noise-level measurement conducted by a certified laboratory. Six local residents witnessed the measurement process. The measurements indicate that the power plant does not exceed the permitted noise levels, and all but one of the local neighbours are satisfied that the noise issue has now been resolved.
In 2015, Fortum paid a total fine of RUB 11.5 million (EUR 167,000) for non-compliances with waste water emission limits.