Strona główna » Sejm adopts law on combating environmental crime; penalties for environmental offences to rise

Sejm adopts law on combating environmental crime; penalties for environmental offences to rise

by Dignity News
Poland is increasing penalties for misdemeanours and offences against the environment. The Sejm has adopted a law on combating environmental crime. “This is the largest amendment to the Penal Code and environmental offences since the 1990s. Following the reform of the Environmental Protection Inspectorate, the increase in detection rates, it is now time for harsher penalties”, said Deputy Minister for Climate and Environment Jacek Ozdoba

Deputy Minister Ozdoba pointed out during the press conference that the proposed changes are a reaction to the historical negligence in the real fight against environmental offenders.

“The practice of the application of the current legislation shows that the current criminal sanctions are insufficient and do not deter offenders from committing environmental crimes. I would like to thank politicians for their cross-party support of our initiative,” said Ozdoba.

The draft amendment provides for raising the lower and upper limits of imprisonment for illegal import of waste into Poland. In addition, in some provisions, raising the lower limit of imprisonment will make it impossible to impose a suspended sentence. This is in response to lenient, disproportionate sentencing by the courts.

“So far, in 10 years, offenders have paid only PLN 1 million to the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚIGW); in 2014 it was PLN 1,500. That is why we are initiating the principle “you destroy the environment – you will pay” introducing an obligatory surcharge to the NFOŚiGW of up to PLN 10 million. No more helplessness on the part of the State”, announced the Deputy Minister.

The fine rate for littering in public places will also be increased – the fine proposed in the Act is PLN 5,000. The maximum fine rate for removing vegetation by burning from agricultural land, railway areas, roadside lanes, reed beds or river rushes will be increased to PLN 30,000.

Arkadiusz Słomczyński

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