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(DF) Prosecutor General Orders Checks of Waste Holders’ Compliance with Laws on Waste Management, Environmental Protection

January 6 (BTA) – Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev Monday ordered the Interior Minister and the Chairperson of the State Agency for National Security to conduct joint checks of local waste holders’ compliance with the Waste Management Act and the Environmental Protection Act, the prosecution service said in a press release. All waste holders within the territory of Bulgaria are to be identified and, to this end, they will be required to produce an authorization, an integrated permit or a registration document for the relevant waste management activity and site. The persons will be checked for compliance with their obligations to observe waste collection, transport and treatment provisions, maintain waste treatment facilities in normal operation, prevent waste mixing, organize the safe storage of untreatable waste, organize the safe management of hazardous waste, keep waste records, afford control authorities access to waste management facilities and documents, arrange briefing and training of hazardous waste-handling staff, take the action necessary to contain contamination after closure of waste treatment facilities and activities, provide financing for monitoring, facility closure and post-operation monitoring and control, and notify control authorities of forthcoming alterations that may change the quantity or type of the waste generated and its hazardous properties. Information will be sought on checks of the waste holders conducted by the competent regional inspectorates of environment and water and municipality mayors and on the measures taken in case any violations had been detected. The development comes after Italian Carabinieri intercepted an 815-tonne undocumented waste shipment near Milan on December 11. The waste, loaded into 17 railcars, was presumably destined for unlawful destruction or landfilling in Bulgaria. Interviewed on National Television on Monday morning, Environment and Water Minister Neno Dimov was adamant that the waste originating from Italy, which has been detected on sites near Pleven (North Central Bulgaria) and in Vratsa (Northwestern Bulgaria), has nothing to do with the waste impounded in Italy. Dimov specified that the Pleven site is licensed to separate and recover waste but not to incinerate it, while the Vratsa site is not licensed. The site in Pleven stores 9,000 tonnes of baled plastic, metal and paper waste imported from Italy. The site in Vratsa holds over 50 tonnes of spent toner cartridges which have been arriving from Italy since November. RI/LG