Kazakhstan wants major industrial facilities to address environmental harm
Today, Akhmetzhan Primkulov, Vice Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan, has spoken about the updated environmental code at the Central Communications Service under President, Strategy2050.kz correspondent reports.
The vice minister recalled the draft new environmental code is due to be submitted to the Parliament for consideration in December this year.
According to him, the document complies with environmental regulation experiences, opinions and suggestions of relevant associations and the country's population.
One of the project’s norms is the mandatory principle “A violator eliminates."
“A violator has to eliminate environmental damage, he will be held accountable for repeated offences, up to the shutdown of project companies,” Akhmetzhan Primkulov.
The environmental principle "A pollutant pays" is one of the main directions for improving environmental legislation.
“This involves the rejection of total environmental regulation. Instead of regulating all nature users, it would be better off focusing on major polluting enterprises. To start off, we need to identify them all,” the vice minister said.
He went on to say that the public is going to engage in all phases of impact assessment.
Under the current environmental code, the requirement regarding an impact assessment covers all enterprises irrespective of the level of impact, which is considered ineffective and unnecessary.
“According to the new environmental code, the impact assessment requirement will be strictly limited to category one companies, thus focusing on environmentally hazardous facilities,” he said.
Such companies will have to deploy the best available technology to reduce harmful substances.
The new document also seeks to increase fees to encourage major pollutants to turn to environmentally sound technologies. There will be a zero fee in place for companies using environmentally sound technologies.
“The new environmental code complying with international environmental agreements aims at ensuring environmental safety and sustainably improving the quality of life, developing alternative energy sources, improving air quality, having a sero-waste economy and preserving biological diversity,” the vice minister said.
Obligatory automated environmental monitoring of plants and the transfer of data to agencies seek to increase the level of transparency and impartiality. The new code will include a better system of identifying environmental irregularities, including sudden inspections in category one facilities under State environmental monitoring (upon complaints from NGOs) to steer clear of violations.
Author: Adlet Seilkhanov
Photo credit: Central Communications Service