Russian Seas Need New Federal Law
WWF-Russia has presented a concept bill on protection of Russian seas from oil contamination.
VLADIVOSTOK. March 2. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Ekaterina Khmeleva, environmental law program coordinator at WWF Russia, has presented the main provisions of the concept bill and the plans for further working out of the text of the bill at a regular session of the Kamchatka Krai Committee on Social Policy, Ecological Safety and Protection of Civil Rights.
“The proposed bill provides for prevention of oil pollution of marine environment, appropriate response to oil spills, mitigation of oil spills and compensation for environmental and economical damage. The law is expected to extend to moving sources (ships, barges, etc.) as well as stationary sources involved in offshore production and transportation of oil and other natural resources,” Aleksandra Filatkina, a spokesman for Kamchatka/Beringsky ecoregional branch of WWF-Russia, told Vostok-Media.
The need to have such law is motivated by high toxicity of oil products, large scale of offshore production as well as by the fact that Russian seas fall into the category of cold and freezing seas. The potential environmental damage from oil contamination of marine environment is huge and to a considerable degree irreparable.
At present, legal regulations in the sphere in question are fragmentary and haphazard, the legal rules are found scattered in various laws and bylaws and contain many defects. There are no federal laws that applying in its entirety to the issue at hand.
The deputies which were present at the session of the Committee have unanimously supported the concept bill and voted for adoption of the legislative act and expressed their suggestions concerning the provisions to be included in the draft bill. Also present at the session of the Committee were Kamchatka Krai EMERCM officials, environmental prosecution authorities and Kamchatka Krai Ministry of Natural resources.
“The active discussion of the concept bill proposed by WWF indicates the importance of the issue for Kamchatka and other coastal regions,” said Ekaterina Khmeleva, “We hope that the assistance of legislative authorities will facilitate and speed up the working out of the draft bill and introduction in the State Duma the bill aimed at protecting seas of the Russian Federation from oil contamination, which reflects the main provisions of the concept bill and takes account of all proposals submitted by regions of the country.”
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