Minister Sandov: I will act as a guarantor for abidance by environmental legislation11 Jan, 2022 | 18:02
Today, the Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov called on the business and citizens to abide by the law and assured he will act as a guarantor to this end.
“Let us respect the laws in Bulgaria and not allow pressure on civil servants. I will not allow this, I will support every expert in the ministry who does his job conscientiously, and likewise, if the business is somehow blackmailed, pressured, deliberately delayed by government officials, I will support the business. Because, in fact, my role is to enforce and defend the law,” stated Minister Sandov on the Bulgarian National TV morning talk show. He said that there are many investment intentions for open pit mining in the Sakar and the Rhodopes, which worry locals and the local authorities because of the serious environmental pressure in the area from already existing mines.
On national television he aired a recording of a statement by the Executive Director of “Gorubso – Kardzhali” AD Jivka Kovacheva during a Regional Expert Environmental Council on an investment intention for “Extraction of polymetallic ores from the “Mlechino” probe area, “Kitnitsa” deposit. It is within the territory of the villages of Chernigovo, Dedino, Tarna, Borovitsa, Kitnitsa, and Dolno Prahovo, Ardino Municipality, Kardzhali District. Kovacheva said: “When we implement the investment proposal, because it will be implemented regardless of what decision will be made today…”
According to Minister Sandov, a representative of the investor allows themselves to say things that are “absolutely unacceptable, which not only undermines the authority of the state, but also humiliates experts.” “A representative of any company cannot behave in such a way and think that they are above the law, and that they will realize their intentions no matter what the representatives of the institutions say,” he said.
Minister Sandov stressed that there are procedures and requirements that must be followed. The RIEW-Smolyan has implemented the procedure under the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report and last week there was a Regional Environmental Expert Council as part of the EIA procedure.
“The same intention is being presented in respect to two separate projects, in two neighboring municipalities - Ardino and Kardzhali, and on the territory of two regional inspectorates for environment and water - Smolyan and Haskovo,” explained Borislav Sandov. According to him, this is an investor approach that aims to make it easier to pass two small projects, instead of a larger and more complex one in terms of procedures.
Minister Sandov reminded that the region of the Eastern Rhodopes is seriously burdened by mining activities, “there is already identified pollution and if we continue to set up such enterprises or mines, pollution will reach unacceptable levels.” The local population and local authorities in the area do not want to have such a project implemented.
Today’s decision by RIEW-Smolyan on the EIA, which does not approve the investment intention, states that its implementation will lead to significant and irreversible impact on the landscape. It will cause damage and destruction of habitats of protected animal species and pose a risk to groundwater and nearby water sources. The decision is in line with the protest declarations and opinions of the affected population. It is noted that part of the motives constitutes an incorrectly reported cumulative effect.
You can see the EIA decision on the investment proposal at:
Records from the conducted expert ecological council can be found here: