Kármentesítési Konferencia - 2003. május 21.

Ministry of Finance
Hungarian Privatisation and State Holding Company (ÁPV Rt.)
The Former Soviet Military Bases and the Corporations Sub-Programmes
(Conditions of Assuming the State Liability on the Basis of Governmental Decree No. 33/2000 (III.17) in the Framework of Relevant Legislation)
(State Budget Act, State Appropriation Act, Bankruptcy Act)
Irma Zöldi
Deputy Environment Director, ÁPV Company

The Environment Protection Act formulates the conditions of assuming state liability concerning the environmental damages. Remediation has been regulated by the Governmental Decree No. 33/2000(III.17.) for three years. After the standardisation of regulation had been completed, the implementation started to be affected not only by the environmental rules, but also highly influenced by other legal provisions.

The financial fund for remediation is guaranteed by the State Budget Act. The rate of implementation primarily depends on pollution characteristics (geological and hydrogeological conditions, nature and behaviour of the pollutants and top-priority hazardous substances, etc.), but it can also be affected by the relevant budget fund limits.

The implementation of every phase of remediation process in case of the assumed state liability is under obligation to be conformed to the State Appropriation Act (Kbt). The latter causes difficulties not only to applicants, but also to the tender initiators. It is legally binding for everyone to keep the strict rules of this Act. While observing the provisions of the Act, one faces the long-lasting tender procedure. Such an arrangement is difficult to accept when urgent remedial actions are needed.

Although the Bankruptcy Act is not closely linked with the issue of state liability, it should, nevertheless, be mentioned because of its specific features and effects. During the elimination procedures it should always be taken into account that the remediation costs can overrun above the payment ability of the executing company. This is a real danger. In this case the liability for remediation transfers to the state and the responsibility of environmental authorities increases.

The issue of liability is actual during the setting of official measures and preparation of investment funds as well as bankruptcy proceedings and liquidation processes. The agreement between the measures, set by the authorities, and the state executive “ability” should be achieved, but it is not a simple task.

The presentation of two sub-programmes (“Former Soviet Military Bases Sub-programme” and “ Corporations Sub-programme”) will be made at this conference on the basis of experiences gained in the past years. The implementation of these sub-programmes can be considered as an attempt to co-ordinate the innumerable legal provisions with the realities of practise.

In the framework of the “Former Soviet Military Bases” sub-programme presentation the remediation process of polluted facilities in the locations of Tököl, Kiskunlacháza, Kunmadaras and the clean-up results will be introduced. In addition the interrelations between new tasks arisen from the changes in legislation and associated contracts accomplishments as well as the difficulties in execution will be illustrated.

The presentation of the “Corporations” sub-programme will touch not only on the issues of current remediation actions, but also the aspects of the identification of state liability