The decree on granting concessions for waste incinerators neglects the environmental and health aspects, said the Medical Chamber of Slovenia. The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Panning replies that the decree regulates only a part of building the incinerators and that the legal framework will ensure all environmental and health standards are met.
The Government of Slovenia adopted the decree on granting concessions for waste incinerators to improve the waste management system and reduce the costs of waste exports abroad.
The Medical Chamber of Slovenia said that it is aware that the country must take responsibility for the generated waste, and it is not against waste incineration. Still, the activity has to be adequately regulated. The medical body also stressed that its proposals on the proposed decree, sent before the adoption, weren’t considered.
The decree was adopted at a session held three days before the expiration of the government’s full powers
One of the basic proposals of the Medical Chamber was to make the concession conditional on full compliance with the European Commission’s 2019 requirements for incineration plants or to set at least as strict limit values for the release of toxic substances into the environment as set by the Commission. The Chamber also wanted a site suitability assessment as a selection criterion.
The adopted decree allows granting concessions for waste incineration before environmental impact assessment, the Chamber said.
The new government should repeal the decree, and adopt a new one
The Medical Chamber also stressed that the timing of the decree’s adoption is inappropriate. The act, a strategic decision on waste management in Slovenia, was adopted at a session held only three days before the expiration of the government’s full powers, the Chamber said.
Of note, Slovenia is to get a new government at the beginning of June. It will be led by the recently appointed Prime Minister Robert Golob, whom energy sector stakeholders from Slovenia and abroad know as a long-time President of the Management Board of GEN-I.
The Chamber proposes the new government repeal the decree and adopt a new one requiring at least full compliance with the European Commission’s 2019 requirements and expert site suitability assessment.
Ministry: the facilities won’t endanger the environment and people
The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning said that obtaining a concession will not be sufficient for the operation of the incinerator, as the concessionaire will have to carry out procedures for its placement and obtain all the prescribed consents and permits.
The ministry said that all circumstances and impacts would be verified in the spatial planning procedures with a comprehensive environmental impact assessment (EIA).
It ensures that all procedures are legally determined to ensure that facilities don’t endanger the environment and people.
According to the ministry, the spatial planning procedures and EIA are not the subjects of a decree, as other laws regulate these procedures.