Hefty fines for those involved in environmental pollution

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Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH โ€” The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture decided to take stringent punitive measures against those who are involved in polluting the environment and damaging environmental sites. As part of this, the ministry is working to add violations and penalties to the executive regulations for rehabilitation of damaged environmental sites and treatment of contaminated sites.

According to the new rules, those involved in tampering with and damaging land and other environmental sites will be referred to the Public Prosecution, and it is mandatory on the part of the violator to correct the violation and rehabilitate the contaminated sites.

The ministry specified that the violations include providing incorrect information or data related to environmental rehabilitation plans or treatment plans for contaminated sites. The violators will be slapped with fines ranging from SR10000 to SR100000, depending on the amount of incorrect information and data.

In the event of refraining from implementing the environmental rehabilitation plan or the plan to treat polluted sites, the fine for the first category of violation will be SR15000 while fines in the second and third categories will be SR30000 and SR100000 respectively.

In the event of failure to implement what is stipulated in the environmental rehabilitation plan or the plan for treating polluted sites, the fines will be SR15000 in the first category; SR30000 in the second category and SR100000 in the third category.

The new rules aim to regulate the rehabilitation of damaged sites and the treatment of contaminated sites. The regulations clarify the rules, and terms and conditions necessary for the rehabilitation of damaged sites and the treatment of polluted sites, and identify the damaged sites that require rehabilitation and the polluted sites that require treatment.

The National Center for Environmental Compliance works to take inventory of the damaged sites that require rehabilitation and the polluted sites that require treatment. It prepares a database of damaged sites and contaminated sites, identifies those sites for which the person responsible for their pollution has not been identified, and coordinates with the relevant authorities to develop and implement rehabilitation and treatment plans of these sites, in addition to carrying out inspection, monitoring and control of violations as per the new regulations. The center will coordinate with the Ministry of Interior when needed with regard to inspections to catch the violators.

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