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Minister of the Environment Villu Reiljan replied to the interpellation (No. 182) concerning extraction permits in Ida-Virumaa, submitted on 27 October by Members of the Riigikogu Kadi Pärnits and Jarno Laur.

The interpellators were concerned about the Pandivere water protection area. According to the interpellators, the issue of extraction permits may endanger the drinking water of the population of the whole Lääne-Virumaa.

Minister of the Environment explained that the Pandivere Upland is a very important watershed area for the whole Northern Estonia. At this stage it is not possible to assess the scope of possible damage to nature, because the environmental impact assessment of concrete applications has not been realised. The hydro-geological situation and the lithological composition of rocks in each specific region is different. All this has an impact on the amount and the regime of groundwater. In such a situation it is not possible to make unambiguous conclusions without studying each case separately.

Mr. Reiljan stated that the Ministry of the Environment was the body conducting proceedings concerning extraction permit applications. The decision about the permission or non-permission of extraction would become clear only after several necessary procedures like disclosure, the opinion of local governments, the environmental impact assessment etc. The environmental impact assessment of the existence of drinking water and the protection of its cleanliness is based on researches, not emotions. “If it turns out in the course of the environmental impact assessment, that the extraction activities cause irreparable damage to surface and groundwater, then no extraction permits shall be issued,” the Minister of the Environment confirmed.

Minister of Culture Raivo Palmaru replied to the interpellation (No. 183) concerning the cultural heritage conservation area in the Old Town of Pärnu, submitted on 14 November by Members of the Riigikogu Mark Soosaar, Peeter Kreitzberg and Liina Tõnisson.

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On the motion of the Finance Committee the first reading of the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu Proposal to the Government of the Republic for Ordering an Independent Assessment about the Financial Deals Related to the Former Managers of AS Eesti Ühispank (743 OE), submitted by the Union for the Republic – Res Publica Faction, was removed from the agenda for the working week.

The Riigikogu Press Service