Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI) has filed a criminal charges against the company SERBIA ZIJIN COPPER DOO BOR, as well as a responsible person in the legal entity (director of the company) due to suspicion that they committed the crime of Environmental Pollution, prescribed by Article 260 of the Criminal Code (“CC”).
Violation of the Law on Air Protection which prohibits exceeding the limit values of pollutants into the air, as well as the Regulation on monitoring conditions and air quality requirements, which prescribes emission limit value of sulfur dioxide in the air of 350 μg/m3 per hour, and having in mind the fact that the stated value must not be exceeded more than 24 times in one calendar year, the suspect SERBIA ZIJIN COPPER DOO BOR committed the crime of Environmental Pollution.
During the inspection procedures, it was determined by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, that the suspect legal entity exceeded the limit values of sulfur dioxide concentration in the air by hours, and several times higher values than those allowed by the applicable regulations of the Republic of Serbia.
However, although it is clear from several inspection reports that the accumulation of pollution levels in greatly higher amounts than allowed by the regulations, as well as the time continuity of pollution undoubtedly indicates that the actions of the suspect legal entity occurred to air pollution to a greater extent, ie the commission of a criminal offense prescribed by Art. 260 of the CC, the competent inspection did not file a criminal charges against the responsible persons.
RERI hereby once again draws attention to the dangerous tendency of the competent state authorities to choose to use a more tolerant mechanism instead of a mechanism of protection of the public interest, which can and should result in stricter sanctions for legal and responsible persons, practically enabling privileged companies after proceedings, even in the case of a conviction- to continue unobstructed with the conduct of harmful acts with the payment of (for them) symbolic fines.