Government changes eco permit provisions in line with EU demands
Slovenia: According to the Slovenian Press Agency, on 24 June 2015 the government adopted a proposal for changes to the environment protection act that remedies shortcomings in provisions governing environmental permits. The problems with the existing legislation had led to the European Commission (EC) taking Slovenia to the EU Court of Justice.
The government said that the key purpose of the amendments was meeting the demands of the EC and that all plants without environmental permits at the time when the changes enter into force will need to stop operations. The step is related to the Lafarge cement plant in Trbovlje, which was instructed to stop operations in March 2015 after lax legislative provisions allowed it to continue to operate for a protracted period even though it did not have an environmental permit.
The EC announced in February 2015 that it was taking Slovenia to the EU Court of Justice for its failure to implement environmental licensing in line with the integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) directive of 2007. The EC said that the legal action came because one of the country's major cement producers had continued to operate without the required permit, in reference to Lafarge. The EC was seeking a base fine of Euro1.6m for the country plus Euro9009 for each day that the violation persisted.