Thermal power plant blamed for 'black snow' at Siberian city of Omsk

Feb. 10, 2014 at 6:08 AM

OMSK, Russia, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Russia's environmental watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, said dust from a thermal power plant was to blame for so-called black snow in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Omsk, in southwestern Siberia, was coated twice last winter with a blanket of black snow after a thermal power station dubbed TPP-5 kicked into overdrive.

"According to preliminary reports, this is again TPP-5 that has dumped ash," the watchdog group was quoted as saying Sunday by state news agency RIA Novosti.

The report said $4.3 million was slated for new filters at the facility.

A team of researchers from the environmental agency is expected in Omsk this week to collect samples. There was no indication if the black material was a threat to the city's population.

A white powder that later was discovered to be out to be aluminosilicate dust from a Gazprom Neft oil refinery coated Omsk in August 2012.

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