In 1995 Nadezhda Fadeyeva and other Russian citizens from the town of Cherepovets brought an action in local court against Severstal, Russia’s largest iron-smelting company. They alleged that the level of air and noise pollution from Severstal’s steel plant located in their town exceeded the maximum emissions permitted by Russian law and made the area in which they lived, about 450 metres from the steel plant, unsafe for habitation. In fact, according to Russian law, the 1000 metre area surrounding the plant is deemed unsuitable for residential property. The applicants argued that they should be resettled in an environmentally-safe area.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously found on 9 June 2005 that the Russian Government was in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence) and that it had failed to regulate the environmental pollution from the Severstal plant which affected the quality of life at the applicant’s home.
In October 2007 the Russian Government informed the ECHR that it had reconsidered the zone surrounding the Severstal plant deemed safe for residential property.
On 1 August 2011, the Russian organization Human Rights Centre 'Memorial' sent a petition on behalf of the plaintiffs to the mayor of Cherepovets asking that the ECHR judgment be fully enforced and that the plaintiffs be resettled.
The case is still pending.
|Name of conflict:||Severstals steel plant, Russia|
|Location of conflict:||Cherepovets|
|Accuracy of location||HIGH (Local level)|
|Type of conflict. 1st level:||Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction|
|Type of conflict. 2nd level:||Metal refineries|
|Type of population||Urban|
|Company names or state enterprises:||Severstal from Russian Federation|
|Relevant government actors:||Cherepovets local court|
|International and Finance Institutions||European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)|
|Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:||Human Rights Centre 'Memorial'|
|Intensity||LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)|
|Reaction stage||In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)|
|Forms of mobilization:||Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism|
|Environmental Impacts||Visible: Air pollution, Noise pollution|
|Project Status||In operation|
|Conflict outcome / response:||Court decision (victory for environmental justice)|
|Proposal and development of alternatives:||The applicants argued that they should be resettled in an environmentally-safe area.|
|Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:||Not Sure|
|Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)|