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Environmental Monitoring Act

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Environmental Monitoring Act - content
Issuer:Riigikogu
Type:act
In force from:01.01.2019
In force until: In force
Translation published:07.01.2019

Environmental Monitoring Act

Passed 04.05.2016
RT I, 18.05.2016, 1
Entry into force 01.01.2017

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
10.05.2017RT I, 25.05.2017, 104.06.2017
19.06.2017RT I, 05.07.2017, 301.09.2017
06.06.2018RT I, 29.06.2018, 101.07.2018
05.12.2018RT I, 22.12.2018, 101.01.2019

Chapter 1 General Provisions  

§ 1.  Scope of application of Act

 (1) This Act establishes the organisation of national, local government and voluntary environmental monitoring, the completion of national environmental monitoring programme and its sub-programmes, the establishment, use, protection and liquidation of national environmental monitoring stations and areas, the procedure for the storage, use and dissemination of data obtained during the course of environmental monitoring, and the organisation of state supervision and the responsibility for failure to meet the requirements provided in this Act.

 (2) This Act does not apply to such monitoring of the status of the environment which is not environmental monitoring for the purposes of this Act.

 (3) The environmental monitoring of the holder of environmental permit or integrated environmental permit, required by the permit, is subject to the requirements established by the Act regulating the respective permit and the requirements established on the basis of that Act.

 (4) The holding, use, storage and dissemination of environmental monitoring data of the holder of environmental permit, specified in the permit, is subject to section 13 of this Act, unless otherwise established by law.
[RT I, 25.05.2017, 1 - entry into force 04.06.2017]

 (5) Administrative proceeding provided for by this Act is subject to provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, taking into account the specifications provided by this Act.

§ 2.  Environmental monitoring

 (1) Environmental monitoring is the continuous surveillance of the status of the environment and the factors affecting thereof, involving environmental observations, collection, processing and storage of observational data, analysis of observational results and predicting of changes.

 (2) Environmental monitoring is divided into national environmental monitoring, local government environmental monitoring and voluntary environmental monitoring.

Chapter 2 National Environmental Monitoring  

§ 3.  Objectives, financing and organisation of national environmental monitoring

 (1) The objective of national environmental monitoring is to obtain an overview of the environmental status of the state territory and the long-term changes therein, ensure the compliance with the obligations of monitoring the status of the environment arising from international agreements and national legislation and assess the impact of the completion of national action, development and management plans upon the status of the environment and the changes therein.

 (2) National environmental monitoring data constitute the basis for the compilation of action, development and management plans and the drafting of legislations, and the assessment of the impact thereof.

 (3) National environmental monitoring is financed from the state budget or the budgets of international programmes.

 (4) National environmental monitoring is organised and coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment.

§ 4.  National environmental monitoring programme

 (1) National environmental monitoring is conducted on the basis of long-term national environmental monitoring programme, drawn up by way of open proceedings pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

 (2) National environmental monitoring programme consists of sectoral sub-programmes.

 (3) The requirements and procedure for the completion of national environmental monitoring programme and sub-programmes are established by the minister responsible for the area by a regulation which sets out the following for national environmental monitoring:
 1) general principles of the preparation and the organisation of completion of the programme;
 2) list of sub-programmes, their objectives and duties;
 3) procedure for the completion of sub-programmes;
 4) principles for the selection of monitoring stations, areas or sites of a sub-programme;
 5) requirements for the collection, processing, transmission and storage of the monitoring data of a sub-programme;
 6) quality assurance requirements for the monitoring data of a sub-programme.

 (4) National environmental monitoring programme is approved by the minister responsible for the area by a directive.

 (5) The budgets of national environmental monitoring sub-programmes with the list of respective monitoring work is approved by the minister responsible for the area by a directive.

§ 5.  Institution or person responsible for national environmental monitoring sub-programme

 (1) Completion of a sub-programme of national environmental monitoring programme is managed by the institution or person responsible.

 (2) The institution or person responsible is:
 1) a governmental authority or a state authority administered by a governmental authority under its own statutes;
 2) a person with whom a contract has been entered into pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Public Procurement Act; or
 3) a company in state ownership whose principal activity is conducting environmental research and with whom the minister responsible for the area has entered into a contract under public law for this purpose pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Administrative Co-operation Act.
[RT I, 22.12.2018, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (21) Sections 6 and 14 of the Administrative Co-operation Act do not apply to the entry into a contract under public law specified in clause (2) 3) of this section.
[RT I, 22.12.2018, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2019]

 (3) The institution or person responsible conducts and organises environmental monitoring through persons with the required competence.

§ 6.  Duties of the institution or person responsible

  The institution or person responsible:
 1) collects monitoring data;
 2) compiles and processes the monitoring data collected during the course of completion of sub-programme, analyses and generalises the information collected and submits the monitoring data to the environmental monitoring database;
 3) assesses the status of the environment and the changes therein;
 4) makes proposals to amend environmental monitoring sub-programme, including with regard to the environmental monitoring stations used;
 5) ensures the accuracy and storage of the monitoring data collected;
 6) enters into agreements referred to in section 9 (4), and section 22 (2) of this Act with the owner of immovable property;
 7) where appropriate, maintains national environmental monitoring stations, areas and equipment in order to ensure their reliability and the consistency of the receipt of data;
 8) where appropriate, informs the owner or possessor of immovable property of environmental monitoring to be conducted prior to the beginning of the monitoring work; 9) immediately informs the contracting entity of the work of sub-programme, if it becomes evident during the course of monitoring that the monitoring station or area has been damaged or destroyed, or in case of becoming evident of monitoring equipment failures.

§ 7.  Requirements, methods and methodologies established for national environmental monitoring

  The monitoring work of a national environmental monitoring sub-programme is subject to the requirements, methods and methodologies provided by a relevant legislation or the international programme into which the monitoring data are submitted, in their absence, the standard methods and methodologies, in their absence, the methods and methodologies generally accepted in the sector.

§ 8.  National environmental monitoring station, area and site

 (1) National environmental monitoring station is a location where the sampling, observations and measurements designated by an environmental monitoring sub-programme take place, and which holds permanent or permanent and temporary environmental monitoring buildings with equipment.

 (2) National environmental monitoring area is an area where the sampling, observations and measurements designated by an environmental monitoring sub-programme take place, and which does not hold permanent environmental monitoring buildings.

 (3) National environmental monitoring site is a location marked as a point spatial object or linear spatial object where the sampling, observations and measurements designated by national environmental monitoring sub-programme take place, and which does not hold environmental monitoring buildings. National environmental monitoring site may be part of a station referred to in subsection (1) of this section or an area referred to in subsection (2) of this section.

 (4) The list of national environmental monitoring stations, areas and sites is established by the minister responsible for the area by a directive.

§ 9.  Establishment and liquidation of national environmental monitoring station and area

 (1) National environmental monitoring station is established with the consent of the owner of immovable property and, where appropriate, with entry into a respective agreement which is entered in the land register.

 (2) If the owner of immovable property does not consent to the establishment of environmental monitoring station or the location thereof on the immovable property, and there is no other suitable representative location and technically or economically feasible alternative for the establishment of the station, a compulsory possession shall be established on the immovable property for the benefit of the owner of the environmental monitoring station pursuant to the procedure provided by the Acquisition of Immovables in Public Interest Act.
[RT I, 29.06.2018, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2018]

 (3) Upon the establishment of national environmental monitoring area, the consent of such owners of immovable property is sought onto whose immovable property a temporary environmental monitoring building is to be built, and, where appropriate, a respective agreement is entered into and entered in the land register.

 (4) Agreement on the establishment of national environmental monitoring station or area is entered into with the owner of immovable property by the institution or person responsible.

 (5) If the owner of immovable property, referred to in subsections (1) and (3) of this section, is the state, then national environmental monitoring station or area is established with the consent of the administrator of state assets.

 (6) National environmental monitoring station and area is liquidated by a directive of the minister responsible for the area based on reasoned request of the owner of the station or the immovable property.

§ 10.  Marking and protection of national environmental monitoring station and area

 (1) The location of national environmental monitoring station and area is marked if the marking is practical or if the marking requirement constitutes a precondition of the financer of the establishment or operation of the station.

 (2) In national environmental monitoring station, in its close proximity and on national environmental monitoring area, any activities that could damage the station or area or hinder monitoring work or cause interruption in the completion of national environmental monitoring programme are prohibited.

 (3) Detailed requirements and procedure for the marking and protection of national environmental monitoring station and area are established by the minister responsible for the area by a regulation.

Chapter 3 Local Government Environmental Monitoring and Voluntary Environmental Monitoring  

§ 11.  Local government environmental monitoring

 (1) Local government conducts environmental monitoring for the performance of its statutory functions or for the organisation of its work.

 (2) The procedure for the completion of environmental monitoring programme and for the processing and storage of environmental monitoring data collected based on the programme is established by the local government, taking into account the requirements established for national environmental monitoring.

 (3) The data of environmental monitoring conducted for the performance of statutory functions of local government are transmitted to the chief processor of the environmental monitoring database.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (4) Local government environmental monitoring is financed:
 1) from allocations made from the state budget to the local government;
 2) from the budget of the city or local government.

 (5) Environmental monitoring which is conducted by local government and which is a component of international programme or project is financed from the budget of that programme or project.

§ 12.  Voluntary environmental monitoring

 (1) Voluntary environmental monitoring is conducted by a legal person governed by public law or a legal person governed by private law or a natural person at their own request and expense and for their own purpose.

 (2) If voluntary environmental monitoring is conducted pursuant to the requirements, methods and methodologies referred to in section 7 of this Act, then the person may submit the data thereof to the chief processor of the environmental monitoring database.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (3) Upon submission of data to the chief processor of the environmental monitoring database the person is required specify whether and to what extent the person consents to the dissemination of the monitoring data. If the person has determined that the monitoring data submitted thereby may be disseminated, but has not specified the extent of dissemination, then it is presumed that the person consents to their dissemination in full.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

Chapter 4 Holding, Use, Dissemination and Storage of Environmental Monitoring Data  

§ 13.  Holding, use, dissemination and storage of environmental monitoring data

 (1) Environmental monitoring data are held and disseminated in the environmental monitoring database and in another information system of the area of administration of the Ministry of the Environment.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (11) The environmental monitoring database is a database of the state information system, the purpose of which is to obtain, maintain and ensure the availability of environmental monitoring data collected under this Act.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (12) The environmental monitoring data for the purposes of this Act are:
 1) data on the status of the environment collected during environmental monitoring;
 2) environmental monitoring reports.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (2) The use of environmental monitoring data and the exchange of data with other state information systems and databases is conducted through the systems supporting the maintenance of the databases, taking into account the restrictions established by legislation.

 (3) [Repealed - RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (4) Upon the use and dissemination of national environmental monitoring data it is required to refer to the institution or person responsible for the monitoring, and to the sub-programme based on which the work was conducted; upon the use and dissemination of other environmental monitoring data, to the provider of the data.

 (5) Environmental monitoring data are stored permanently.

 (6) The environmental monitoring database and its statutes are established by the minister responsible for the area by a regulation.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

§ 14.  Use of environmental monitoring data upon the occurrence of environmental risk and substantial environmental disturbance

  If the environmental monitoring data refer to the existence of environmental risk and substantial environmental disturbance, then the conductor of monitoring is required to immediately notify the Environmental Inspectorate, the Environmental Board and the local government of the location of occurrence of the environmental risk or substantial environmental disturbance; upon environmental risk or substantial environmental disturbance related to surface or ground water, ambient air or soil, also the Health Board.

Chapter 5 Compensation for Damage Caused by National Environmental Monitoring Station and Area 

§ 15.  Compensation for damage caused by national environmental monitoring station and area

  Damage caused to the owner or possessor of immovable property as a result of the establishment or repair of national environmental monitoring station or area or the environmental monitoring conducted in the station or the area is compensated for by the administrator of the national environmental monitoring station or area, regardless of culpability.

Chapter 6 State Supervision  

§ 16.  Exercise of state supervision

  State supervision over the compliance with the prohibition provided in section 10 (2) of this Act, the requirements provided in section 14 of this Act and the procedure established pursuant to section 10 (3) of this Act is exercised by the Environmental Inspectorate.

§ 17.  Specific measures allowed for state supervision

  For the purpose of exercising the state supervision provided in this Act, the Environmental Inspectorate may apply the special state supervision measures provided in sections 30-32 and 49-51 of the Law Enforcement Act pursuant to the grounds and procedure provided by the Law Enforcement Act.

§ 18.  Use of direct coercion

  Upon implementation of measures provided in sections 32, 49 and 50 of the Law Enforcement Act, the Environmental Inspectorate is allowed to apply physical force pursuant to the grounds and procedure provided by the Law Enforcement Act.

§ 19.  Penalty payment rate

  In the event of failure to comply with a precept, the upper limit of penalty payment imposed pursuant to the procedure provided by the Substitutive Enforcement and Penalty Payment Act shall be 6400 euros.

Chapter 7 Responsibility  

§ 20.  Failure to report an environmental risk and substantial environmental disturbance

 (1) Failure to report an environmental risk or substantial environmental disturbance which has become evident on the basis of environmental monitoring data -
is punishable by a fine of up to 300 fine units.

 (2) The same act, if committed by a legal person -
is punishable by a fine of up to 32,000 euros.

§ 21.  Procedure

  Extra-judicial proceedings concerning a misdemeanour provided in section 20 of this Act is conducted by the Environmental Inspectorate.

Chapter 8 Implementing Provisions  

§ 22.  Obligation to tolerate national environmental monitoring station and area

 (1) The owner of immovable property is required to tolerate on their immovable property a national environmental monitoring station or area that has been established before the first registration of the land and the removal of which would lead to interruption in national environmental monitoring or a long-term data row, or excessive costs of relocation of the station or area.

 (2) The conditions of the obligation to tolerate, including in relation to the compensation for the obligation to tolerate, are agreed upon by an agreement of the institution or person responsible and the owner of immovable property, if the owner of immovable property so wishes.

§ 23.  Transfer of environmental monitoring data to the environmental monitoring database

  [RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

 (1) Until the establishment of the environmental monitoring database, environmental monitoring data are held in the environmental register or in another information system of the area of administration of the Ministry of the Environment.

 (2) Data may be transferred to the environmental monitoring database from the environmental register or another information system of the area of administration of the Ministry of the Environment also gradually by sub-programmes, depending on the achievement of information technology readiness. The terms for the transfer of data to the environmental monitoring database shall be established in the statutes of the database.
[RT I, 05.07.2017, 3 - entry into force 01.09.2017]

§ 24.  Agreements entered into for the establishment and operation of environmental monitoring station and area

  Agreements entered into before the entry into force of this Act for the establishment or operation of an environmental monitoring station or area remain valid until the expiry of their term of validity.

§ 25.  Amendment of the Immovables Expropriation Act

[Repealed from this text.]

§ 26.  Repeal of the Environmental Monitoring Act

[Repealed from this text.]

§ 27.  Entry into force of the Act

  This Act enters into force on 1 January 2017.