In August 1999, Estonian Academy Publishers published a next in turn publication of the Institute of Ecology of Tallinn Pedagogical University under the general title "Impact of Oil Shale Mining and Processing on the Environment in North-east Estonia" (Editors Valdo Liblik and Jaan-Mati Punning. Institute of Ecology, Publication 6/1999, 224 p.). The monograph is written in Estonian and has an extended summary in English.
      Beside introduction a brief survey of the study area and the methods used, and bibliography (169 references), the monograph consists of seven longer papers where the main results of investigations carried out in northeast Estonia in 1994-1998 ascertain the impact of different anthropogenic factors on the environment. The following papers are published:

  • Estimation of air quality by air pollution indices (authors: V. Liblik and H. Kundel)
  • Emission of pollutants and the dynamics of air quality in Ida-Viru County in 1995-1998 (V. Liblik, H. Kundel and K. Maalma)
  • Temporal changes in oil shale fly ash and sulfur dioxide in atmospheric air (V. Liblik, H. Kundel and A. Rätsep)
  • Spread of pollutants in industrial accidents (A. Aunap)
  • Assessment of the impact of underground mining on ground surface (A. Toomik)
  • Problems of the water environment and water consumption (A. Rätsep)
  • Dynamics of phytoplankton abundance of some rivers (E. Rull)
      Attention is focused on the problems of air pollution and air quality in residential areas and natural systems. A novel system for estimating the quality of atmospheric air in the over ground air layer considering the air pollution indices, and principles for zonation of large territories on the basis of air pollution levels are described. Amounts and emission intensities of oil shale fly ash and sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from power stations since 1960 until today are discussed, and air pollution maps characterising temporal changes in the pollution level are given.
      Also, changes in the air quality are analysed by towns (1995-1998) and regions (Kurtna Landscape Reserve) as well as by pollutants. Serious pollution incidents that may result from probable specific accidents in oil shale processing and exploitation containers of aromatic compounds, and other chemical enterprises are described.
      Geotechnical factors inducing the ground surface movement, and consequences of geotechnical processes in oil shale underground mining dependent on mining, and a roof control methods are described. An assessment of the impact of underground mining on the ground surface is presented, and methods are suggested for estimation of arable and forest lands with the help of the deterioration factors.
      The most acute problems of water extraction and consumption, various water contamination situations, as well as the principal objectives of water management in Ida-Viru County in the years 1998-2010 are discussed. The results of the investigation of seasonal dynamics of some species in some more heavily polluted rivers are also presented.

Valdo Liblik
Editor of the publication