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Ministry of Energy broke the law

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Image 0In the publication "Rushing at Kashagan barged into the Law" it was reported that Managing Director of NCOC Stephane de Mahieu addressed the RoK Minister of Energy Vladimir Shkolnik with request to assist in introduction of changes to Aticles 257 and 258 of Environmental Code that forbid the construction activities on the Caspian Sea during the period from April 1 to July 15.

Unfortunately, business practices of the Energy Ministry show that they easily meet the requirements of subsoil users in detriment of requirements of Environmental Code.

For example, in November of last year the ministry satisfied the request of the KAZENERGY Association of the enterprises of oil and gas and power industry and introduced into the departmental "Rules of organization and carrying out environmental monitoring during oil operations in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea" the addendum regarding the frequency of supervision – "except for activities on sites covered with ice". Meanwhile the item 2 of Article 269 of Environmental Code requires that frequency of monitoring by subsoil user of environment of all contract area in the state conservation zone of the North Caspian Sea should be 4 times a year on four climatic seasons.

The official information from "Kazhydromet" states that in the last 10 years the ice formation period in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea lasts from three months (96 days) up to five months (156 days) in a year. Illegal reduction of monitoring frequency for 5 months plus permission (informal information) to conduct certain construction activities on the coastal part in the northeast part of the Caspian Sea from April 1 to July 15 will lower the efficiency of nature protection legislation.

According to item 2 of Article 45 of the RoK Law "On Regulations", the official interpretation of bylaws (rules) should be given by the bodies (in this case it is the RoK government) and the officials that adopted them (published). Therefore the actions of the RoK Ministry of Energy in this case are illegal.

The RoK Constitution doesn't provide even the parliament with the right to officially interpret the laws. It is possible only after changes are made into the Constitution. There were no changes made in the Constitution. Therefore introduction of item 2 in Article 269 of Environmental Code stating "except for activities on sites covered with ice" is inadmissible.

Thus, the rules of the Ministry of Energy are subject to cancellation by the Prosecutor General's Office or the government.

K. Aubekerov, Chairman of "BatysEcoKorgau" NGO

On a photo: Kali Aubekerov

April 9 2015, 15:27

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