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Acquisition and follow-up monitoring of permanent soil temperature sensors at the Kukruse waste rock pile


Image: Kadri Haamer-Tibar

The purpose of follow-up monitoring is to monitor the environmental status of the waste rock pile and potential changes. For the prevention or timely detection of the risk of ignition of the waste rock pile, it is necessary to carry out thermal monitoring, which requires the acquisition of 5 permanent soil temperature sensors.

The role of the EIC is to organise and coordinate the acquisition of permanent sensors and the implementation of follow-up monitoring.

Project activities will take place in 2022, and monitoring will be carried out in accordance with the expert assessment ‘Clarification of the classification of the category-A Kukruse burnt mining waste rock pile based on the studies carried out in the period 2014–2020’, prepared by the Estonian Environmental Research Centre in 2021.

The Kukruse waste rock pile is located on wholly state-owned land in Kohtla Rural Municipality, and is the site of a large amount of mining waste. The pile has burned twice over an extended period. This, in turn, is the main cause of the formation of hazardous substances, as the presence of carbon monoxide indicates an ongoing combustion or semi-coking process inside the pile. Around 1.3 million tonnes of oil shale beneficiation residues have been deposited in the Kukruse pile. The pile covers an area of 4.85 hectares and has a relative height of 40 metres.