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Severstals steel plant, Russia


Description:

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.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Severstals steel plant, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
Location of conflict:Cherepovets
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Metal refineries
Specific commodities:Steel
Iron ore

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Type of populationUrban
Company names or state enterprises:Severstal from Russian Federation
Relevant government actors:Cherepovets local court
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Human Rights Centre 'Memorial'

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
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

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence)

Maximum emissions permitted under Russian law;

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Links provided by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre:
http://www.business-humanrights.org/Categories/Lawlawsuits/Lawsuitsregulatoryaction/LawsuitsSelectedcases/FadeyevavRussiareSeverstalsmelter

Meta information

Contributor:Irene Pietropaoli
Last update18/08/2019