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01 December 2020, 14:43

Create a single register of enterprises-pollutants and introduce integrated permits for them

We have a draft law No. 4167 #AtTheCommitteeConsideration on prevention, reduction and control of industrial pollution, prepared by the Government of Ukraine.

The draft law, as indicated in the explanatory note to it, aims to:
-    establish legal and organizational frameworks to prevent, reduce, control and eliminate pollution from the industrial enterprises;
-    ensure environmental protection through the introduction of an integrated permit;
-    identify those activities that require an integrated permit;
-    establish requirements for the best available technologies and methods of management, emission monitoring and control of enterprises that have received an integrated permit.

Reducing, preventing and controlling emissions of pollutants into the air, as well as checking wastewater for the concentration of pollutants and controlling the field of waste management is not only Ukraine’s duty to its citizens. It is also an important international commitment. Ukraine ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016. But in addition to the obligations under this document, our country also has obligations under the Association Agreement with the EU. Ukraine’s commitments on environmental measures are governed by Annex XXX and Annex XXXI to the Association Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, Ukraine must control and reduce the impact of industrial pollution on the environment, in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions.

What measures should Ukraine take to implement the EU Directive on industrial emissions?

-    Legislative — laws aimed at protecting the environment should be adopted; draft law No. 4167, by its purpose, is one of such documents;
-    technical — a register of pollutants has to be created, large industrial enterprises shall implement the best available technologies and management methods to reduce emissions into the environment;
-    organizational and informational — to ensure public access to information on emissions, as well as to introduce a mechanism for integrated prevention and control of industrial pollution. According to Directive 2010/75/EU, air pollutants shall monitor the level of pollution and report it on their official websites, as well as provide such information on a daily basis to the relevant public air safety authorities.
In the framework of the implementation of Directive 2010/75/EU, it is mandatory for economic operators to apply the best available technologies and management to reduce the levels of pollution. In Ukraine, there are no developed regulations establishing a list of best available technologies and management methods. The allowable concentrations and discharges of pollutants do not meet the requirements of Directive 2010/75/EU.

Insufficient state control over the implementation of permitting documents in the field of environmental protection and ineffective mechanism to ensure compliance with environmental requirements do not encourage large industrial pollutants to increase investment in environmental protection.

What does the draft law 4167 offer?

The draft law defines the concept of integrated permit and the basic requirements for it. An integrated permit is a document that companies are required to obtain. It contains a list of requirements for the amount of pollution and measures necessary for comprehensive environmental protection during the operation of an enterprise. Draft Law No. 4167 also provides a list of activities that require an integrated permit, the procedure for issuing such a permit, the grounds for refusal, the basis and procedure for suspension and revocation, the grounds and procedure for amending the integrated permit, the requirements for the register of integrated permits, characteristics of the emissions to be monitored and control of entities that have received an integrated permit.

The draft law also introduces the concept of a single state electronic information system of integrated permits. It is an information and telecommunication system that provides the creation, review, storage, accounting and provision of information, as well as electronic interaction between enterprises, the permit authority, local governments and the public.

Defines a list of requirements for “pollutants”. They are obliged to:

-    take appropriate measures to prevent pollution;
-    apply the best available technologies and management methods;
-    not to cause significant contamination;
-    prevent waste generation;
-    if waste is generated, prepare it for reuse, recycling or recovery as a matter of priority, and if it is technically and economically impossible, dispose of it, while avoiding or reducing any negative impact on the environment;
-    use energy efficiently;
-    take necessary measures to prevent accidents and minimize their consequences.

How long will it take in Ukraine to reform infrastructure and legislation to meet the requirements of the Association Agreement with the EU on environmental protection?

In 2019 the Government of Ukraine approved the Concept for the implementation of state policy in the field of industrial pollution. The implementation of the Concept will be carried out until 2028 in three stages.

The first stage (2019-2021)

During the first stage it is planned: to enshrine the principles at the legislative level — how to prevent, reduce and control industrial pollution. To this end, appropriate laws shall be enacted. At this stage, an electronic information system should also be created, which will reflect the actual volumes of industrial pollution in Ukraine.

The second stage (2022-2024)

During the second stage, a list of the best available technologies and management methods in the chemical and waste management industry should be established. This will allow us to comply with the requirements of Annex 1 to Directive 2010/75/EU.

The third stage (2025-2028)

At this stage its planned to further improve the regulatory framework in the field of industrial pollution, as well as to ensure the implementation of the mechanism of integrated prevention and control of industrial pollution.

Expected results:

-    industrial pollution, in particular, air emissions from stationary sources, should be reduced by 2030 by 22.5% of emissions in 2015;
-    emissions of polluted wastewater in 2030 should be reduced to 5 percent of total emissions, compared to 15.7% in 2015;
-    national environmental legislation will be brought in line with the EU industrial pollution law.

The draft law No. 4167 passed two rounds of public discussion.

The Committee will announce its opinion on whether the draft law No. 4167 complies with the EU law and Ukraine's international obligations under the Association Agreement with the EU at the next meeting.