Scandalous1 pig farm Ltd. “Silski traduciyi” (Bilyky village, Poltava region), beginning from August 2016 is blocking the work of controling bodies. Thus, representatives of the State Environmental Inspection from August 2016 until April 2017 eight times tried to conduct unscheduled inspections, but all of these attempts were finished by non-admission and composition of the Act of non-admission to the facility for inspection and transferring of materials to the National Police. The reason for the refusal of admission of controlling bodies for inspection was the reference to the complicated epizootic situation regarding African swine spread in the Poltava region. But, it should be emphasized, that there is no legal norm which restrict addmissions for inspections because of the “complicated epizootic situation”.
State Environmental Inspection had even applied to court for obtaining a permit for an unscheduled inspection and decisions of the courts of the first and appellate instance confirmed obligation of the pig farm owner to allow inspection by representatives of State Environmental Inspection. However, against court decision, neither the environmental inspector, nor the head of Kobelyatsky district executive service department, or the district police officer were allowed to fulfill their duties.
At the moment, pre-trial investigation is ongoing on the fact of resistance to the representatives of state authorities and non-enforcement of court decision. However, as we know, the investigation of criminal cases can last for years, and during this investigation the state of the environment will only deteriorate. Such opposition to representatives of state authorities clearly indicates that the state of compliance with the legislation on environmental protection in the pig farm does not meet the established requirements. Its worth mentioning that the local sewage treatment unit at the farm, which was foreseen by project documentation, was not built. Contrary to the mentioned documents, the pig farm Ltd “Silski traduciyi” is not equipped with a system of emissions cleaning. Despite the lack of sufficient capacity of the treatment facilities at the facility, there was a constant excess of pigs in dozens of times. As a result, the neighboring land plots are polluted by manure, and the state suffered losses in amount of 3.6 million UAH. The unbearable odour, which stretched from the pig farm for kilometers, made the residents of Bilyky village, who care about their heath, to protest against the farm operation. As a result, Ltd. “Silski traduciyi” had selected few activists and sued them in court for their actions on protection of their right to safe and healthy environment asking the court for compensation of pecuniary damage in amount of 11 million UAH. However, what is positive, at the moment pig farm is not functioning. Consequently, the local community managed to defend its right to a clean environment. But, does it mean that local residents have more powers than the State Environmental Inspection, which, for a long time, did not manage to do anything, despite apparent violations of the legislation by Ltd. “Silski traduciyi”.
According to the media, at the end of March 2017 all pigs were taken out of the territory of the pig farm, but the state of facilities, which are primarily connected with the storage of manure, is not known. Due to lack of control by inspectors, even the village council, which leased its land for 49 years to a Russian investor for a construction and functioning of pig farm, does not know what is happening on its land after the relocation of pigs.
This situation shows ineffectiveness of the system of state environmental control and the immunity of business, which is today protected by the state, officials and the legislation more than our own people, national priceless natural resources and future.
1 More about the struggle of community of Bilyky village against the pig farm Ltd. “Silski traduciyi” read here: http://epl.org.ua/en/law-posts/minimizatsiya-vplyvu-na-dovkillya-ta-zdorov-ya-zhyteliv-vid-funktsionuvannya-svynarnyka-tzov-silski-tradytsiyi/