Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection is working towards amending the laws under which a permanent ban will be placed on construction of mini hydro power plants (MHPP), primarily in the protected areas.
The ministry is quite vocal about being against the construction of MHPPs in Serbia, especially in the protected areas. Some MHPPs have already been built in protected areas, such as, for example, Stara Planina.
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ivan Karic, spoke today about what awaited the country following the opening of Chapter 27 in the accession negotiations with the EU and added that although Serbia was known as a country of beautiful rivers, it is also a country that turns water wells into septic tanks.
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He compared this to the construction of MHPPs in protected areas, as they are too expensive and not useful enough while being harmful to nature.
When asked what the ministry was going to do to address this issue and whether it would seek to have the responsible parties prosecuted, Karic answered:
“ The Ministry of Environmental Protection has not issued a single permit for the construction of MHPPs in the protected natural areas. Although our current laws allow for this, we are talking to other ministries about banning the construction of MHPPs in protected areas, but also in the so-called 2nd and 3rd-degree areas around them.”
He pointed out that the current position of the EU was that MHPPs do more harm than good and expressed hope that this problem would be resolved in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and other institutions.
He also pointed out that there had been misconduct in certain local self-governments, which had issued permits for the construction of MHPPs without the Ministry’s authorization. Karic added that Minister of Environmental Protection of Serbia Goran Trivan would address the issue in more detail soon.
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