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The atmospheric condition is an important ecological characteristic of the region. Air pollution still remains one of the most pressing ecological problems because the bulk of people live in districts where pollutant concentrations are often in excess of maximum permissible levels. The most polluted cities are Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk.

Air pollution in Kemerovo Oblast results from an extremely high concentration of various industries. Of 1,472 enterprises with pollutant emissions under the control of Goskomekologiya (State Committee on Ecology) of Kemerovo Oblast, the following are located on a small territory of 95,700 square kilometers: 21 enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, 126 coal-mining and coal-processing enterprises, 18 thermal-power engineering facilities, 10 chemical enterprises, 83 machine-building and metal-working plants, 184 construction-industry enterprises, and 308 enterprises of rail and motor transport and road services, as well as agricultural, food, light industry, and furniture enterprises and numerous steam heating plants.

The total pollutant emissions into the atmosphere in the populated areas of the region in 1999, including stationary and mobile (motor, rail, and air transport) sources, were 1,358,573 tons, including solid substances-235,899, sulfur dioxide-138,875, carbon dioxide-610,018, nitrogen oxides-143,282, hydrocarbons-211,916, other gases-18,486. Most of the total emissions are from pollutants from combustion of various fuels.

Emissions from mobile sources are 260,032 tons (19.14 percent), including the following: motor transport-239,595 tons, railroad transport-19,867 tons, and air transport-570 tons. The majority of emissions from mobile sources are exhaust emissions from motor transport amounting to 92.14 percent. The motor transport contribution to pollution is 19.14 percent in the region as a whole, while it is much higher in some towns, such as Anzhero-Sudzhensk-38.4 percent, Mezhdurechensk-40.1 percent, Kemerovo-44.1 percent. The exhaust emissions from motor transport have increased by 6.0 percent (or by 14,479 tons) as compared with 1998.

The stationary sources accounted for 1,098,541 tons of pollutants emitted into the atmosphere (the emission limit being 1,127,547 tons). Incomplete data indicate that around 200 substances enter the atmosphere. The majority are highly toxic and carcinogenic (3,4-benz(a)pyrene, various metal and silicon compounds, cyanides, fluorides, and a broad spectrum of hydrocarbons, including volatile organic compounds that enter into photochemical reactions in the atmosphere to produce ozone and other oxidants).

Enterprises of the following sectors are the main contributors to air pollution: metallurgy-421,706 tons, power engineering-206,170 tons, fuel-233,459 tons, chemical industry-5,209 tons, and other sectors-231,708 tons. The volume of recorded emissions into the atmosphere in comparison with 1998 has increased as follows: in the fuel industry-by 60,275 tons due to the more accurate accounting of methane emission sources; in electric power

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