Kármentesítési Konferencia - 2003. május 21.

Remediation Investment Projects Launched by the Ministry of Environment and Water
Béla Máté
Head of Department, Institute of Environmental Management

The theme of remediation had already appeared in the 1995. LIII. law on general rules regarding the protection of the environment. The legislation stipulates that the government is liable to carry out remediation following the occurrence of major environmental pollution when liability cannot be transferred to others.

Based on this law the National Environmental Protection Programme was created. This includes the National Environmental Remediation Programme (OKKP) which was established to co-ordinate remediation of major inherited environmental damages.

Regarding tasks connected with environmental pollution the Environmental Law stipulates:

“The central budget, in accordance with separated state funds… supports the remediation of environmental pollution in the case when no one else can be made liable for the work, when the polluter is unknown, or he cannot be made responsible, or his responsibility cannot be ascertained.

The tasks of the OKKP had been worked out by dividing them into specific stages. The short term stage was 1996-97, the midterm 1998-2002 and the long term stage marks the period after 2002.

At the beginning of the programme, - despite it being in a preparatory stage- , pollution were considered such a threat to human health that it was considered important to start remediation works already in 1996. First, fast remediation measures were taken at such sites where the dangers to human health and ecological value, or the priorities of protecting the environment justified them.

It was the 33/2000.(VI.17.) government decree which first mentioned in detail the tasks, remediation activities and their method of completion. The above mentioned government decree about certain tasks regarding activities affecting the quality of groundwater has redefined the goal of OKKP, and defined what remediation was.

A ministerial decree was issued annually containing provisions regarding the management, running and financing of OKKP and the rules of how available funds were to be used.

At the launch of the programme, its later costs could only be estimated. International experience shows that initial estimates in various countries were in reality far from actual costs. After the programme’s launch and during the first few years it was financed from privatisation coming from privatisation, this formed a separate category within the budget of the Environmental Fund. From 2000. financing is being carried out based on the relevant KAC-decree. The fund providing for OKKP tasks falling within the liability of the Ministry of Environment is a nine-figure sum.

OKKP consist of General, National and Individual tasks. Regarding the Individual tasks, the reduction of contamination risk is being achieved as part of remediation projects. Remediation work itself is being carried out according to an annually updated roadmap.

In 1995 and 1996 local environmental authorities had sent back forms about how pollution sources divided in a regional order.

Part of these forms were logged into an electronic database after having been checked and updated. The initial basis of remediation work was the priority list compiled from 174 polluted sites. After the beginning of the National Inventory the identification of specific remediation work was based on information about polluted sites and pollution sources.

Government decree 33/2000. (VI. 17) clearly describes the process of remediation work. It also stipulates the prominent role the authorities and Environmental Inspectorates play and describes compulsory remediation tasks.

Any given stage of remediation begins with the decree of Environmental Inspectorates.

In case of state liability the Inspectorates obliges the organisation, which was charged with remediation by a government agency to carry out the remediation. In case of preventative projects the Institute of Environmental Management will carry out remediation if the party liable to carry out remediation is suffering from shortage of funds. The costs of intervention is then charged to the liable party.

The elimination of pollution sources causing permanent environmental damage, the quantitative and qualitative identification of polluting elements endangering the environment, then the appropriate reduction or possible elimination of pollution to damaged environmental elements (like soils and groundwater) is separated into different stages. According to government decree 33/2000 remediation consists of the following stages: detailed in-situ investigations, remediation actions and post checking (supplementary control).

The competition regarding remediation projects is carried out by open appropriation procedure in accordance with law LX of 1995 (amended by law LX of 1996). The only exception could be if it is justified to have talks.

From 1996 to date as many as 80 projects started on 47 sites.

During the lecture remediation projects are described with the help of photos, and their statistical results achieved by a multifocused approach with the help of diagrams.