Lipetsk: the least polluted steelmaking city
The Voeikov Observatory, the main research centre of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, measures the Integrated Air Pollution Index (IAPI) annually.
According to these measurements, the city of Lipetsk is among the least polluted cities and has been officially recognized as the ‘cleanest’ steelmaking centre in Russia and one of the cleanest cities in Russia’s Central Black Earth economic region.
The IAPI indicator, which was developed and is measured by the Russian meteorological service (Roshydromet), is used by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment to assess the level of air pollution in Russian cities. The index is based on average annual concentrations of impurities, therefore IAPI characterizes the level of persistent, long-term air pollution.
The IAPI indicator is measured for basic harmful impurities, most typical for the region, and takes into account their hazard level. For Lipetsk, this includes concentration of dust, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, phenol, and formaldehyde.
In 2019, the IAPI indicator in Lipetsk stood at 3 UoM, having decreased 1.5-fold since 2013 (5.1 UoM). In recent years, air pollution reached an all-time low in the whole history of measurement since 1991, at 33.9 UoM.
Depending on the IAPI level, there is:
- Low pollution at < 5 UoM
- Increased pollution at 5–7 UoM
- High pollution at 8–14 UoM
- Extremely high pollution at >14 UoM
Based on this breakdown, Lipetsk was officially recognized not only as the cleanest regional capital of the Black Earth area, but also as the ‘cleanest’ steelmaking city in Russia, ahead of Cherepovets (3.9 units), Nizhny Tagil (7 units), Magnitogorsk (13 units), and Novokuznetsk (17 units), where the main sites of large steel companies are also located.
Experts believe that the record low IAPI level in Lipetsk is largely due to the successful and ongoing efforts to reduce NLMK’s environmental impact as part of the Group’s Environmental Programme.