The government responds to a wave of waste fires. Legislative projects have already been prepared

The government responds to a wave of waste fires. Legislative projects have already been prepared

The environment ministry said a few months ago that it was working on solving the problem of abandoning waste in non-designated areas. Numerous fires in recent weeks have significantly accelerated the process of developing specific regulations. The changes proposed by the government concern two acts: the Act on Waste and the Act on the Inspection of Environmental Protection. What will change?

    • Monitoring of warehouses and waste management facilities

The Commander of the Poviat State Fire Service will be able to carry out inspections of installations and waste storage facilities to meet the requirements set out in the environmental protection regulations.
In addition, the applicant for a permit to collect waste will need to obtain an opinion on the conditions of fire fighting within the plant from the fire brigade. The regulations will allow for the elimination of permits for sites that do not meet the fire safety requirements. Waste warehouses and landfills are to be monitored in order to oversee waste sector. In turn in the event of a fire, monitoring is to help determine the cause and eventual offenders.

    • No more import of waste to Poland

The amendment also introduces a total ban on importing waste to the country for incineration. – “There is no substantive basis for which national waste incineration plants would optimize operating costs by burning waste from abroad (including wastes coming from even other continents, which is very badly received by the public)” – we read in the justification. The draft also includes a total ban on the import of municipal waste and waste generated from the treatment of municipal waste (RDF) into Poland.

    • Funds for a rainy day

Introduction at the stage of obtaining a permit for waste treatment and permission to collect waste to establish an appropriate amount of claims security. It is a solution in case you need to cover the costs related to waste disposal and their management or the effects of an improper activity.

    • Stricter penalties

The project imposes new penalties for crimes committed in connection with conducting business in the waste sector. Sanctions are to be severe: up to 5 years in prison for the sole storage, processing, disposal or transport of waste not in accordance with the law. Financial penalties will also be increased – from 10,000 to even PLN 1,000,000. Also new are the high fines for transporting illegal waste or transporting them to the wrong place – up to PLN 100,000.

    • Inspections

The new regulations will allow, among others strengthen the powers of environmental protection inspectors. They will be able to conduct unannounced inspections 24/7, inspections covering several provinces, and use drones for monitoring.

“1st of September 2018 is the predicted date of entry into force of regulations aimed at sealing waste management in Poland” – said Minister of Environment Henryk Kowalczyk.

20 June, 2018

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