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Industrial pollution

NILU has conducted measurements, calculations, evaluations and impact assessments for different kinds of industries since the institute was first established in 1969.

Depending on the industrial activity, emissions to air will contain different types of contamination. Oil and gas production will, for example, result in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (soot), hydrocarbons (such as benzene and toluene) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, called PAHs. Metallurgical industries and smelting plants will emit the metals that are produced, but also substances such as NOx, SO2 and dust particles.

Monitoring in the areas bordering Russia

One of the established monitoring programmes is close to the Russian border, where the briquetting facility in Zapoljarnij and the smelting plant in Nikel release large amounts of sulphuric dioxide (SO2) and heavy metals (nickel, arsenic, copper and cobalt).

At NILU’s monitoring station at Svanvik in Pasvikdalen 9 km west of Nikel, SO2 and heavy metals are measured in air and precipitation weather conditions are recorded. SO2 and meteorology are also monitored in Karpdalen, near Jarfjord Mountain north of Nikel. The main air quality components are measured in Karpbukt, while there are passive samplers for SO2 at Viksjøfjell (Jarfjordfjellet), north of Zapoljarnij.

The sulphur dioxide emissions from Nikel and Zapoljarnij make up more than 100,000 tonnes a year, more than five times Norway’s total SO2 emissions. The monitoring in the border region is financed by the Norwegian Environment Agency and by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.