Ukrainian Court Orders Lafarge Cement to Release Environmental Impact Information
On January 20th, 2011 the High Economic Court of Ukraine put an end to the dispute between Environment-People-Law (EPL) and JSC Mykolaivcement (Lafarge Group) regarding documents on environmental impact of its cement plant. By its decision the Court ordered the polluter to provide EPL with materials on environmental impact assessment of a plant reconstruction (increase in capacity and change in kiln fuels from natural gas to coal and alternative fuels (used tires)).
For three years already EPL has been trying to gain access to these documents either from authorities, or Lafarge. EPL believed that such change in fuel leads to a greater environmental impact and polluter’s and authorities’ attempts to restrain access to this information only proved that this fear was true.
Now, having obtained the relevant materials, EPL plans to evaluate them for adequacy and implementation of environmental protection measures stipulated by the project, completeness and conformity of the project with domestic environmental regulations and high environmental standards set by the European Union that Lafarge is claiming to have implemented in its plant in Ukraine.
This decision of the High Economic Court of Ukraine is the first of its kind. It declares a right of the public to obtain directly from polluters all the information on environmental impact of industrial activities originated and held by polluter-companies. Thus, it opens a new door for first-hand environmental information and enables the public to conduct a better informed post project oversight of corporate activity adversely impacting the environment.
For the detailed information please contact: Yelyzaveta Aleksyeyeva, lawyer at EPL email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org