WWF ASKS PARLIAMENTARIANS TO REWORK AMENDMENTS TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LAW
In its current state, the law concerns the transparency of state agencies more than it regulates businesses in the same regard. Environmentalists are also asking to adjust the interpretation of the term "state secret," since at the moment, a lot more information may fall under that definition than is allowed by law, which means that more environmentally significant information will remain closed to the public. In addition, the project ignores the issue of companies' readiness to respond to emergency oil spills, as it does not contain a clause compelling the companies to publish their response plans for such spills.
Here is the text of the letter in full:
To: Assistant to
the President of the Russian Federation
— Head of the State Legal Directorate of the President of the Russian Federation
L. I. Brycheva
Dear Larisa Igorevna,
In response to your address No. A6 -12007 dated November 9, 2020 WWF-Russia has reviewed the draft of the Federal Law No. 735006-7 "On Amending the Federal Law 'On Environmental Protection' and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter: Bill).
The Bill is aimed at improving the system of public access to environmental information and procedures for engaging the public in the decision-making process in order to ensure the constitutional right of every person to live in a healthy environment.
We believe that in matters related to the state of the environment, improving access to information and engaging the public in the decision-making process will significantly improve the quality of management decisions and enhance the process of their implementation while providing the public with the opportunity to express their concerns about environmental issues in a timely fashion. WWF-Russia supports the concept of the Bill currently under consideration; however, we believe that certain provisions of this document need to be revised.
We also consider the following worth mentioning separately: the Bill does not fully ensure public access to environmental information owned by legal entities, since it does not contain provisions obliging legal entities to publish this data in the information and telecommunication network known as the Internet.
We kindly ask you to take our suggestions and comments into account while deliberating on the draft federal law No. 735006-7 "On Amendments to the Federal Law 'On Environmental Protection' and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation."
Director of WWF-Russia Dmitry Gorshkov