A SLIGHT decrease in violations of legal norms in the environmental sphere has been recorded in the first six months of 2009 by inspectors of the Slovak Environment Inspection (SIŽP). SIŽP spokesman Michal Štefánek informed the SITA newswire that its inspectors made 2041 audits and imposed 422 fines amounting to €377,415. The inspection agency also ordered 67 improvement measures to remedy the flaws it found. The number of inspections so far in 2009 has increased by 5.1 percent compared with the same period last year.
The biggest fine, €20,000, was levied against the Pigagro company in Hlohovec for operating its pig farm in Veľký Cetín in contradiction to the conditions of its integration licence. SIŽP fined another company, Biotrend JPS, in Buzitka €16,600 for constructing a bio-diesel and bio-gas station without a construction permit.
MBM-STAV of Námestovo received a fine of €13,609 for spilling industrial sewage water and surface drainage water without permission from the public water administration and for treating dangerous substances without permission at the Logistic Centre MTZ in Oravská Jasenica.
Amitos Consulting in Bratislava did not give full and true information connected with its waste management and Slovintegra Energy in Levice operated a steam-gas cycle in the town in violation of its issued integrated permission. Both companies were fined €10,000.
The general director of SIŽP, Oto Hornák, considers it very positive that all fines go to the public treasury account of the Environmental Fund and are then returned to the environmental sphere, adding that fines also improve the behaviour and discipline of entrepreneurs and enhance their environmental consciousness.
Hornák added that for improving the environmental consciousness of the general public, SIŽP puts special stress on investigating stimuli and incentives for citizens and institutions.
In the first half of 2009, SIŽP received 340 complaints, in which it found a violation of laws in 109 cases. Štefánek said the number of violations in the environmental area has been decreasing.