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Environmental Offenders Beware: Bulgaria Introduces Stiffer Fines by 50% to 100%

In a decisive move to combat environmental degradation, the Bulgarian government has ushered in new amendments, significantly heightening penalties for environmental damage and pollution that surpass permissible standards. The revised regulations, adopted on January 3, 2024, target sole traders and legal entities, amplifying the consequences for violations.

The revisions, aligned with the European Directive on industrial emissions, introduce a substantial escalation in penalties. They factor in inflationary trends and, crucially, uphold the polluter-pays principle. The amendments envisage a staggering 50% to 100% surge in fines, aiming to curb environmental transgressions that have persisted due to outdated penalty structures.

An analysis spanning 2019-2021 reveals that penalties remained stagnant for over a decade, failing to dissuade violators. These negligible penalties have directly correlated with a surge in transgressions, detrimentally impacting various environmental components, including air, water, soil, biodiversity, and posing a tangible risk to human life and health.

The updated regulations comprehensively target infringements that exceed prescribed environmental limits and non-compliance with emission standards. Moreover, they introduce specific formulas to compute penalties for surpassing established daily and annual average emission limits.

Source: Novinite