New laws are being introduced to reduce the adverse effects of extractive waste on people and the environment and to bring Polish law on managing extractive waste into line with EU law.

The legislation will come into force on 15 August 2008 (apart from a few provisions of the Act that will come into force on 1 May 2012). Holders of the extractive wastes running their activities on the day before the Act comes into force are required to adapt their activities to the provisions of the Act by 1 May 2012 (apart from the financial guarantee provisions, which needs to be adapted by operator of waste facilities by 1 May 2014).

Key provisions of the new law include:

  • introducing a new system of terminology that includes extractive waste being defined as waste originating from the exploration, extraction, treatment and storage of minerals from deposits

  • making compulsory a number of optional provisions in current laws on extractive wastes from exploration, extraction, treatment and storage of minerals, and adding new requirements as well

  • requiring extractive waste producers to draw up a waste management programme and get it approved by the relevant authority before starting to produce or manage waste

  • requiring all producers of extractive waste to:

  • apply for a permit to operate a waste facility

  • prepare a risk assessment for the waste facility

  • lodge a financial guarantee (or equivalent) that it will fulfil all its obligations under the permit

  • monitor the waste facility (during operation and after closure) and inform the appropriate authority of any adverse impact on the environment and of any events that may affect the stability of the facility

  • prepare operating and rescue schemes in case of a serious accident (this applies to extractive waste producers operating Category A waste facilities)

  • obtain consent from the relevant authority for closure of the extractive waste facility

  • requiring all waste facilities to be run by technically competent people with a waste management qualification which has been certified as appropriate by the voivodship marshal

  • imposing additional time limits for storing extractive waste (6 months, 1 year and 3 years depending on the type of waste).

Law: Directive 2006/21/EC of 15 March 2006 on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending Directive 2004/35/EC; Geological and Mining Law (unified text: Journal of Laws of 2005, No. 228, item 1947 as further amended) dated 4 February 1994; Act on waste (unified text: Journal of Laws of 2007, No. 39, item. 251 as further amended) dated 27 April 2001; Act on extractive waste (Journal of Laws of 2008, No. 138, item 865) dated 10 July 2008.

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The original publication date for this article was 13/08/2008.