Draft Act on Eliminating the Threat of Large-Scale Post-Industrial Areas

Eliminating the threat to health and life from large-scale brownfield sites and restoring these sites for reuse is the aim of the draft law on large-scale brownfield sites.

Post-industrial areas

Eliminating the threat to human health and life posed by large-scale post-industrial areas, as well as restoring these areas for reuse – is the aim of the draft law of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, which has been posted on the website of the Center for Government Legislation(1).

It is explained in the motivation for the draft law on large-scale degraded areas that the new regulations are a direct result of the National Reconstruction Plan (KPO). As indicated, the proposed schemes meet the requirements of one of the so-called milestones. It added that the draft provides for “the commitment of the local government and the allocation of the necessary powers to take actions related to the improvement of the environment in these areas”.

Goal of the project

As stated in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), the aim of the project is to identify, prepare and assess the magnitude of issues associated with reducing the environmental and human health impacts of large-scale degraded areas, as well as the removal or mitigation of their negative impact, including the removal or protection of waste that poses a threat and the clearance of contaminated sites so that they can be returned for reuse.

It was emphasized that the new regulations are necessary because of the problems related to the presence of hazardous waste that has accumulated in the past and that poses a threat to people’s life or health, in particular from installations that were formerly or now were owned by the Treasury.

It was noted that “very often it is very difficult to enforce the obligation to eliminate or reduce the environmental impact of the waste collected because the waste was landfilled a long time ago and the land where the waste has been held for many years of many private entities – there was a division of land and their property “.

It was pointed out that the examples of areas where the occurrence of such problems has been found include: the areas of the former “Zachem” chemical plant in Bydgoszcz, the “Organika-Azot” chemical plant in Jaworzno, the former “Tarnowskie Góry” chemical plant in Tarnowskie Góry, the “Boruta” dye industry in Zgierz. It has been added that a register of previously unrecognized large brownfield sites is planned.

There will be no special vehicle of the state treasury

As indicated in the RIA, the project developers have decided not to create a special vehicle of the state treasury, which would be tasked with carrying out tasks related to the improvement of the environment in degraded areas.

Such a solution was rejected due to the time-consuming and cost-intensive process of establishing this type of entity. It also took into account the location of individual degraded areas in different regions of the country and their different environmental protection and formal and legal issues, each requiring an individual approach (…) – explained in RIA.

As indicated in the RIA funding sources, the National Reconstruction Plan provides for four projects related to the so-called “environmental bombs”. EUR 55 million has been earmarked for research and concept funding under “Investments in the hazard neutralization and rehabilitation of large-scale brownfield sites and the Baltic Sea”. It was added that funds for fieldwork related to the improvement of environmental status should be obtained from other sources. It was indicated that the optimal solution in this case is a combination of national and European funding.

It was emphasized that due to the urgent need to take action, the provisions of the law will come into force 14 days after the announcement. (DAD)

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1 / Draft law large-scale degraded areas

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