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The Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu replied to the interpellation concerning the protection of people’s health (No 93), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Valdur Lahtvee, Marek Strandberg, Mart Jüssi, Aleksei Lotman, Maret Merisaar and Toomas Trapido on 25 September. The interpellators referred to the potential risks for the residents of Viimsi municipality, Maardu city and Jõelähtme municipality arising from the handling of fertilizers, fuels, chemicals and charcoal at Muuga port.

 

Maripuu explained that, when speaking of the protection of the health of the people living in the area of influence of Muuga port, it must not be forgotten that relevant measures fall first of all within the competence of the corresponding local governments, that is, they are mainly the tasks of Viimsi municipality, Maardu city and Jõelähtme municipality in the case of the area of influence of Muuga port. When planning and implementing activities, including economic activities, it is their responsibility in the first place to consider how that will affect the health of local people. Several studies have been carried out in the territory of Muuga port since 1993 and the Health Protection Inspectorate has provided expert opinions together with proposals on nearly forty occasions. 

“As regards the protection of the health of residents in the Muuga port area, all environmental protection measures must be applied in order to protect the environment and thereby also human health because air, water, soil and other environment which is clean and conforming to the requirements enhances the protection of human health. It must be very carefully observed that industrial enterprises comply with all precepts, both environmental and in particular those which are connected with the risk of a major accident,” stressed Maripuu. A development plan for population health for 2009–2020 and a plan for implementation of the development plan for population health 2009–2020 for the years 2009–2012 have been prepared at the Ministry of Social Affairs. They set out general trends for the development of environmental health, including the measures for protection of people’s health. However, in order to be successful in the development of environmental health, it is necessary to think and act not only at the state level. It is the local governments who best know regional characteristics. “Where local governments see that, in order to reduce the risks arising from Muuga port and thereby also to protect human and environmental health, it is advisable to change the legal space at the state level, the Ministry of Social Affairs is in every way ready to discuss proposals and to take them to the Government if necessary,” confirmed the Minister. Application of environmental health measures, that is, implementation of the development plan for population health can only be realised in close cooperation of different parties and in close connection with the development plans of other fields. 

The Riigikogu approved the agenda for the working week and the second reading of two Bills was excluded from the agenda on the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee. These are the Bill on Amendments to the Aliens Act and Other Acts arising from Implementation of Levels of Language Proficiency Defined in Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (325 SE), initiated by the Government, and the Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act (326 SE), initiated by the Government. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 
 
 
 
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