In January, the Russian government dropped the production of pulp, paper and cardboard from the list of activities prohibited in the Baikal nature reserve, paving the way for the Baikal pulp and paper mill to resume operations. In July, the facility went back into production after a hiatus of a year and a half, discharging its waste into the lake. This decision provoked outrage among environmental organizations and UNESCO because Lake Baikal is listed as a world heritage site. That was why, in late October, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued an instruction stipulating that the pulp and paper mill should switch over to a closed water cycle in 2011.
The summer of 2010 brought Russia abnormal heat, smog and fierce wildfires. This all resulted from the anticyclone that hovered over European Russia for an unprecedentedly long period from June 21 until August 19.