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Supreme Court supports Pezinok inhabitants in case of local waste dump

In the protracted case of the waste dump located near the centre of their town, residents of Pezinok, near Bratislava, won a decision at the Supreme Court on May 14. The court upheld a previous verdict by the Regional Court in Bratislava which scrapped the decision of the environmental inspectorate to issue a licence to use the waste dump.

In the protracted case of the waste dump located near the centre of their town, residents of Pezinok, near Bratislava, won a decision at the Supreme Court on May 14. The court upheld a previous verdict by the Regional Court in Bratislava which scrapped the decision of the environmental inspectorate to issue a licence to use the waste dump.

"I am very satisfied – this is undoubtedly a victory for Pezinok and its inhabitants; and any person in Slovakia who strives to achieve something and who does not feel like an equal participant in licensing procedures, just as we did not,” said Zuzana Čaputová, the legal representative of Pezinok inhabitants, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

"The reason is that the procedural steps... that would evoke in participants of the proceeding justified and legitimate expectations to have their chance to get involved in the procedure,” Miroslav Gavalec, chair of the three-judge panel, argued. The problem was that the first-instance body, i.e. the environmental inspectorate, refused to make its decision announcing the location of the waste dump available to locals. The second-instance body – the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate (SIŽP) – wanted to change this by publishing a public decree and waiting for appeals from inhabitants for 30 days. As nobody appealed, it confirmed the decision about the licence for the waste dump. However, this step was not right, according to the latest verdict, and the SIŽP should have acted as a first- instance body. Thus, the court cancelled the second-instance verdict and confirmed the first-instance one.

Ján Man Jr., the owner and operator of the waste dump commented that as the dump already exists, the only reaction for him is to continue operating it, TASR wrote.

In 2006, Bratislava’s regional construction planning authority adopted an urban planning decision concerning the location of a waste landfill site in a trench previously used for the extraction of earth for use in brick-making. Subsequently, the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate initiated an authorisation procedure in the course of which residents of the town of Pezinok requested publication of the urban planning decision. However, the inspectorate authorised the construction and operation of the landfill site without first publishing the decision in question. Following an appeal, the environmental inspectorate confirmed its decision to authorise the landfill, after having published the urban planning decision.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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