In the work of the Ministry of Natural Resources, as in nature itself, balance is important

The head of the Public Council of the Ministry of Natural Resources, specialist of the PRISP Center Alexander Zakondyrin talks about new initiatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation.

First of all, I would like to thank the staff of the ministry for their professional work. The Public Council is involved in the analysis of experts and the preparation of almost all the regulatory legislative acts of the department, many amendments, clarifications and initiatives of members of the Council are adopted. We organized not just a dialogue, but really collaborations.

We try to maintain a balance between the interests of the state and society. It is very important. Over the past year, we have jointly prepared more than 20 legislative initiatives, which were supported by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Parliament of the country. This is a great common success.

forest code

Very important legal innovations have been adopted that regulate the activities of the entire forest industry. From 1 January 2022, the state approach to the forestry industry changed. At the initiative of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, federal state supervision for the transportation, processing and storage of wood was established. In order to avoid uncontrolled logging and forest theft, all transactions are now recorded electronically, which is designed to bring the forest market to a new electronic level of interaction. In particular, the transport of timber will be possible only if there is an electronic accompanying document obtained using the unified state automated information system LesEGAIS. Also, the export of round coniferous and valuable hardwoods is now banned abroad and this, for example, is 42% of the timber imports in the Far East market. In short, the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, with the help of the expert community, has taken an active path towards control and transparency of business processes in forestry.

In addition, the new version of the Forest Code clarifies and introduces definitions of key concepts. The following definitions have been added to the Federal Law “On Amendments to the Forest Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts”: “forest complex”, “timber”, “wood products”, “wood products”, “deep wood processing”, “non-wood products” “timber”, “raw wood”, “forestry”, “timber industry” and “timber”; define what is meant by processed and unprocessed timber; the definitions of “natural reforestation”, “artificial reforestation” and “combined reforestation” were defined. the concept of “state forest inventory” has been clarified. This is very important for the forest industry.

At the initiative of the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation Alexander Kozlov, the firefighting sector was further funded by 8 billion rubles. The money was used to buy equipment and hire additional staff. There were also amendments to federal legislation that corrected many legal issues.

For example, since the beginning of 2022, 54 fires have been recorded in specially protected natural areas of federal importance in areas of 19 shelters and national parks. These are 25 fires or 32% less than the corresponding period last year. The total area covered by fire is 21.4 thousand hectares, ie 58% or 29.9 thousand hectares less than in 2021.

At present, the provisions of the environmental legislation on state control are fully compliant with the general law on state control. The institution of “forest protection” has been established and now you can be sure that forests are patrolled regularly. All serious violations, including fire, are suppressed.

Air quality

First, last July, amendments were made to the law on conducting experiments on air emission quotas.
In addition to the 12 cities in which the experiment is currently being conducted and the Federal Clean Air project is being implemented, the Government of the Russian Federation, based on a specially developed methodology, will identify additional cities with high and very high levels of air pollution, as well as time and the stages of the experiment. These cities will be part of the Federal Clean Air project and from September 1, 2023, measures will be implemented to reduce emissions.

It is also important that on December 21, 2021, amendments were made to the Code of Administrative Offenses, which established administrative liability for a large number of violations of legislation on air protection.

Now all businesses or individuals will bear serious responsibility for non-compliance, even for non-timely compliance with the requirements for equipping fixed emission sources and pollutant emissions with the necessary automatic control systems. And they will also receive heavy fines and other penalties, depending on the seriousness of the environmental crime, for deliberately “damaging” such measuring devices that give false indications.

Water resources

The terminology of the Water Code of the Russian Federation is in line with the legislation on fisheries and conservation of aquatic biological resources.

As far as the coastal zone is concerned, a regime of economic activity has been established there which ensures that the negative effects on the situation of particularly valuable types of aquatic biological resources are minimized and a balance is ensured between the interests of agricultural producers. the use of agricultural land near water bodies and the conservation of particularly valuable types of aquatic biological resources.

New tools and requirements have been adopted to prevent situations similar to the situation in Usolye-Sibirskoye, the Baikal pulp and paper mill and other environmentally friendly facilities.

Now the legislation of the Russian Federation stipulates that the owners of such enterprises are obliged, five years before the decommissioning of the enterprise, to develop a plan for the prevention and elimination of environmental pollution as a result of the operation of this enterprise and an assessment of its implementation. .

The project is subject to mandatory state environmental expertise. According to the plan, financial support should be provided for the relevant measures: guarantee, guarantee or liquidation fund. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the payment of compensation to cover the state’s costs of eliminating the accumulated damage.

In order to prevent the alienation of companies to “one-day companies”, the draft law introduces a mechanism to control transactions. This mechanism stipulates that in case of alienation of regulatory objects more than 5 years before the end of their life, a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur who applies for the acquisition of regulatory object must submit documents confirming their financial stability. .

An individual applying for a regulated item 5 years or less before the end of the item’s operational life must submit an action plan and appropriate financial support. Otherwise, transactions involving such regulatory items will not be recorded.

In order to solve the already accumulated problems and eliminate the damage from items that have already been abandoned, the law introduced a mechanism for “coloring” environmental payments. Thus, payments for adverse environmental effects, fines for administrative offenses, payments for claims for damages are accumulated and sent to detect, assess and eliminate objects of accumulated damage and, in their absence, to other environmental measures included in its plan. in agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia.

Waste management and environmental protection

Every citizen of the Russian Federation is interested in the issue of waste and the result of the work is easy to feel, you can just look around.

I will start with the fact that PPK “REO” has been entrusted with the functions of the operator of the federal state information system for solid waste accounting and the unified federal information system for the accounting of waste from the use of goods. Following the issues of the extended responsibility of the producer, it is planned to direct the funds of the environmental collection for the construction, reconstruction of facilities that are necessary for the implementation of activities in the field of waste management, their modernization and their settlement. waste collection sites (s).

As we know, in March a new system for waste management of risk categories I and II was launched, provisions for the launch of the investment program of the federal waste management body of risk categories I and II were introduced and the requirements for clarifying the federal management system were clarified. waste of risk categories I and II.

Another important legislative amendment that we worked on last year and which was approved is the amendments to the Law on Environmental Protection regarding environmental information.

The law passed on March 9, 2021 defines what information is environmental information. The law specifies that this is information, regardless of its presentation to the environment, including the retrospective, current and projected state of the environment, its pollution, processes and phenomena that occur in it, as well as the environmental impact of ongoing and planned economic and other activities, in current and planned activities in the field of environmental protection.

It has been established that environmental information is publicly available and access to it can not be restricted, except for information that is a state secret. Government authorities and local authorities with environmental information must now publish such information on their official websites.

This is an important law for all citizens of our country, which guarantees the constitutional right of the citizens of the Russian Federation to objective and reliable information about the state of the environment in Russia.

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