Minister Sandov: we will increase control and penalties for industrial pollution

06 Jan, 2022 | 16:22

The Ministry of Environment and Water is preparing a new methodology for control over industrial enterprises, as well as increasing penalties for pollution by the industry. This was announced by the Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov during his visit in Ruse today, where he met with the Mayor Pencho Milkov, the Regional Governor Borislav Bulgarinov, the Director of RIEW-Ruse Anatoli Stanev, as well as representatives of environmental non-governmental organizations, and the media.


“We are working on changes to the methodology for comprehensive inspections of industrial enterprises,” said Minister Sandov. He added that the number of air quality monitoring stations will be increased throughout the country, and the chemical composition of polluting components will be analyzed. “We are interested in industrial pollutants. In the new model of control we envisage the so-called cross-regional emergency inspections - experts from one regional inspection to inspect sites and enterprises on the territory of another, as well as mandatory participation by citizens,” said Borislav Sandov.


The Minister will soon propose a drastic increase in penalties for industrial pollution: “The idea is to have sufficiently high penalty fees to dissuade potential violators.”


The MOEW will prepare guidelines for local authorities on how to improve air quality, including measures, such as regular street cleaning to limit the spread of dust in the air. The Minister also promised incentives for municipalities in the implementation of measures to improve air quality. 15 million BGN are provided for the network of air quality monitoring stations throughout the country. For the first time, 47 million BGN of national funding is allocated to air quality improvement.


Under Operational Program “Environment”, with funding in the amount of 120 million BGN, household heating appliances are being replaced. For the new programming period more than 4 times more funds are provided for measures related to air quality improvement. According to Minister Sandov, the replacement of heating appliances in homes will largely combat particulate matter air pollution, because domestic heating is the main pollutant on this indicator.


The mayor of Ruse Pencho Milkov announced that next week a public tender will be launched for retrofitting the newest municipal air quality measuring station with additional meters for volatile organic compounds. “We are preparing an ecological cadaster of the industrial enterprises in the city, what substances they use and what they emit,” Milkov said, expressing hope that such a system could be introduced on a national scale. This can provide real-time complete information to citizens and will make it easier for competent authorities to exert control. In turn, Minister Sandov proposed that a public council on air issues be formed in Ruse, whose members should partake in inspections.


The regional governor of Ruse Borislav Bulgarinov demanded an increase in the number of devices that monitor air quality in Ruse in real time and the introduction of on-duty teams at night at the RIEW. Minister Sandov noted that since his arrival in Ruse last night he has sensed unpleasant odors, so specialists in organoleptic analysis should be included in the teams. During the meeting, Borislav Sandov and the regional governor discussed cross-border pollution in the region. The minister committed to initiate a meeting with his Romanian counterpart to discuss the cross-border aspects of their entrusted ministries, whereby Minister Sandov will propose that Romania follows Bulgaria’s example and bans the burning of stubble, which will reduce cross-border pollution along the Danube.