The Council of Ministers has adopted a bill amending certain laws to combat environmental crime, which provides for higher penalties for violations and crimes against the environment, reports the Government Information Center (CIR).
“The government wants to increase penalties for violations and crimes against the environment. If the perpetrator is convicted of an intentional crime against the environment, the court will have to order an exemption of PLN 10,000. PLN to PLN 10 million for the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. In addition, the condition of liability of collective entities, such as companies, is abolished with regard to the prior final and final conviction of a natural person for an offense against the environment,” the message reads.
The proposed changes are a response to the noticeable increase in the number of environmental crimes in recent years. There is also an increasing trend in the number of fires at waste collection points. The practice of applying the existing regulations shows that current criminal sanctions are insufficient and do not deter perpetrators from committing crimes against the environment, it was also reported.
If the crime was committed unintentionally, the deductible will be charged at your discretion.
The money will go to the National Fund for the Environment and Water Management. They will not only be used to eliminate the effects of criminal activities, but will also be used in various ecological programs aimed, among other things, at improving air or water quality in Poland.
Sanctions will be increased for causing significant damage to the plant or animal world. In that case you risk a prison sentence of 6 months to 8 years.
For destroying or damaging – in violation of the regulations applicable in the protected area – plants, animals, fungi or their habitats, or natural habitats, and causing significant damage, a fine, restriction of freedom or imprisonment of 3 months to 5 years, the fine is imposed for destroying or damaging plants, animals and fungi under species protection or their habitats – in case of significant damage.
Sanctions are increased for, inter alia, contamination of water, air or the earth’s surface with a substance or ionizing radiation, if this could threaten human life or health or a significant reduction in the quality of water, air or the earth’s surface or damage to the plant or animal world can cause a significant degree. In that case you risk a prison sentence of 6 months to 8 years.
The fine will be increased, including: for illegal storage, disposal, processing, recovery, neutralization and transportation of wastes that could endanger the life or health of people or a reduction in the quality of water, air, land surface or destruction in the plant or animal world. It carries a prison sentence of one to ten years.
The fine for importing or transporting hazardous waste from abroad – without the required notification or permit, or against its terms – will also be increased. It carries a prison sentence of 2 to 12 years.
The minimum and maximum fines for litter in public places will be increased.
The maximum fine for removing vegetation by burning farmland, railway yards, roadsides, reeds or rushes is increased to PLN 30,000. zloty.
The liability condition of collective bodies (eg companies) is abolished with regard to the previous and valid conviction of a natural person for an offense against the environment. Currently, this offense must first be legally sentenced to a natural person (for example, the director of the company), so that the company itself is also responsible for the destruction of the environment.
The new solutions should take effect 14 days after publication in the Journal of Laws.