Ukrainians are suffering from uncontrolled air emissions which don’t comply with not only European but also Ukrainian standards. Budget revenues from environmental taxes polluters have to pay for their emissions fall short of the expectations.
These problems have a common cause—no pipe monitoring.
Traditionally, industrial pollution causes irreparable damage to the environment of Ukraine’s biggest cities, e.g. Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Mariupol, and Kharkiv, where the environmental pollution by heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons is several times higher than the international standards. In some areas, the pollution level exceeds the standards by 10 times1.
Nevertheless, Ukraine’s legal system has been enabling the largest industrial polluters to distort data on air emissions over a long time.
Since stationary sources of pollution have no air quality monitoring systems at the largest polluters, we face the following problems:
- We can’t detect excessive air pollution and inform the population about this.
- We can’t control man-caused disasters and catastrophes in real time.
- Regulatory authorities or unscrupulous stakeholders blackmail and put pressure on companies.
- We can’t impose fines for excessive emissions over long periods.
- Regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, and NGOs don’t have enough evidence to go to court.
- Companies understate environmental taxes for air emissions.
As we don’t have any emission monitoring systems, polluters can evade liability both for committing environmental law violations and paying environmental taxes which are significantly understated and don’t cover all emissions.
Consequently, Ukraine damages public health, labour potential (environmental migrants have been a trend in Ukraine), budget revenues, and natural resources.
On 10 March 2021, we fought against major polluters’ lobbyists and managed to defend our amendments to the Draft Law 4167 ‘On Prevention, Reduction, and Control of Industrial Pollution’ at the meeting of the committee on environmental policy. Finally, we have a chance to carry out the idea of ‘pipe monitoring’ which has been a taboo subject for years!
Key dates and facts about pipe monitoring [↑]
- 2021—Our First Intermediate Win: ‘Pipe Monitoring’ to Be Voted On
- 2021—What Big Dirty Business Hides from Ukrainians: Draft Law 4167 to Be Finalized
 According to independent research conducted by the NGO ‘Centre for Environmental Initiatives “Ekodiia”’ (Ukraine), Arnika (Czech Republic), and experts from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague (VSCHT) in 2018.
This publication has been made within the frameworks of the Accountability Fund (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands). The views and opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the official position of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.