Estonian Environmental Law Center recently published two analyses that demonstrate that the obligations imposed to companies in mining permits are often vaguely worded and recommendatory, leaving local communities and the environment in harm’s way. New mines and quarries are permitted without considering other values, developments and potential mining areas in the area.
Noise, dust, increase in traffic and other negative impacts often lead to conflicts between the mining companies and local communities. „Obligations imposed on mining companies are often vague, ambiguous and recommendatory – this has in quite a few cases enabled the companies to behave as they please. To better protect the local communities and the environment the authorities should impose tougher obligations on mining companies and express them more clearly in permits,“ said Kärt Vaarmari, member of the board at EELC.
Every single new mining operation is permitted on the initiative of a mining company, by means of individual decisions that do not take into accout wider geographical context. „For example, several new small quarries have been established in some parts of the countryside in close proximity to each other. In the end the total area covered by quarries is huge and can destroy the local living environment,“ Vaarmari explained. „Our proposal is to solve these problems on the county level, with the county level spatial plans that are being drafted right now,“ Vaarmari added.EELC’s new analyses are found in Estonian on EELC’s web page:
Both analyses will be used for EELC's advocacy work in the field of mineral resources; you can read more about it here: k6k.ee/advocacy/mineral-resources
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