Friends of the Baltic participated at the meeting of the Committee on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region and presented a proposal of including into the Law about administrative offenses of the Leningrad Region responsibility for the lack of sewage treatment plants at the individual housing sector and for the discharge of untreated waste water on the relief and natural reservoirs of the Leningrad region.
This proposal is the result of the work of four thematic seminars on issues of nutrient pollution and wastewater treatment, which were attended by government authorities and municipalities, regulatory organizations, business, scientists, wastewater treatment specialists, farmers, community activists, active gardeners and residents of the city and region.
Deputies of the Committee on Ecology and Nature Management of the Leningrad Region Legislative Assembly confirmed that the problem of wastewater treatment requires careful consideration. The Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation by Article 8.13 establishes the penalty for dumping of untreated sewage for individuals. But for the lack of sewage treatment plants in individual housing sector responsibility is not provided. Currently, there are construction and sanitary norms and rules regulating the construction of sewage сatchment and treatment facilities for individual houses. For example, they indicate that the cesspool should be sealed. But existing rules are recommendatory in nature, few people use them when building houses.
This initiative raised an important question - it is necessary to change legislation at the federal level. Strict norms are needed that determine what treatment facilities should be when entering a house into operation, how often it is necessary to check their performance, and on this basis decide the issue of punishment for the lack of sewage treatment plants. Friends of the Baltic and deputies discussed existing solutions - dry toilets, septic tanks, local treatment facilities.
Centralized canalization of individual houses could solve the problem, but this is a complex issue requiring large funding.
Also the idea of considering a subsidiary mechanism was proposed by deputies - to encourage those who install treatment plants in their areas. As well, the deputies supported the educational work of the Friends of the Baltic in this direction.
The initiative was noted, the deputies will bring the issue to further consideration - perhaps after making amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, some articles of which are now in the process of revision. The initiative will be continued.