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The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi replied to the interpellation concerning disorder in the area of administration of the Ministry of Environment (No 34), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lembit Kaljuvee, Vilja Savisaar, Ain Seppik, Evelyn Sepp, Rein Ratas, Jaak Aab, Arvo Sarapuu, Toivo Tootsen, Eldar Efendijev, Nelli Privalova, Kalev Kallo, Olga Sõtnik, Jüri Ratas, Toomas Varek, Tiit Kuusmik, Valeri Korb, Inara Luigas, Aadu Must, Lauri Laasi, Vladimir Velman, Kadri Must, Mailis Reps, Jaan Kundla, Valdur Lahtvee, Maret Merisaar, Aleksei Lotman, Toomas Trapido and Kalle Laanet on 17 December 2007. The interpellators pointed out several alleged violations of law which were related to the oil shale mining permit issued for works at the Ojamaa mining field.

Tamkivi explained that the Ministry of Environment was not going to commence repealing of the extraction permit No 55 because there was no legal basis therefor. The volume and trends of the use of oil shale are agreed upon at the national level in the Oil-Shale Use National Development Plan for 2008-2015. The permitted annual rate of mining of oil shale and the legal possibilities for permits are also approved by the development plan. Reduction of the specified annual rate is proposed in the Bill on Amendments to the Earth’s Crust Act, the purpose of which is to ensure that the annual rate of the use of oil shale established in the Oil-Shale Use National Development Plan is achieved.

The Minister of the Environment noted that the oil-shale use development plan had been prepared on the basis of § 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia which established that the natural wealth and resources of Estonia are national riches which shall be used economically. “The objective is to use oil shale with maximum efficiency and this is determining the interest of the state in the use of oil shale resources,” Tamkivi said. “It is the interest of the state that Estonian consumers are supplied with electric power and heat and valuated oil shale products without failure, by implementing the best available technology in the mining and processing of oil shale. Also, by using oil shale and the accompanying natural resources in an efficient manner and with the minimum possible negative environmental and social impact so as to secure that oil shale resources hold out for as long time as possible and to ensure the national security and sustainable development of the state,” the Minister of the Environment asserted.

During the open microphone, Marek Strandberg took the floor.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at: http://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno

The Riigikogu Press Service