Nearly 60 million euros to be invested in environmental pollution control capacity over five years
Today, Mati Raidma, Minister of the Environment, inspected the facilities and resources available to the Rescue Board in Kose to respond to possible environmental accidents. The topics discussed included improved cooperation between public authorities.
During his visit to Harju county, the new Minister of the Environment Mati Raidma visited the Kose logistics centre of the Rescue Board to inspect the Board’s response capacity. “The capacity to respond to environmental accidents is a litmus test and a challenge for cooperation between ministries. It is commendable that public authorities have shown initiative and have engaged in specific capacity development efforts. The Rescue Board has developed capacity for pollution control and collection and for extinguishing forest fires; it also provides a very useful working environment for situation management on the field. This enables us to respond swiftly to accidents to reduce harmful impact on the environment. A discussion of the current situation and new opportunities for cooperation is good and necessary,” commented Mati Raidma, Minister of the Environment.
In recent years, over 45 million euros have been invested in Estonia’s capacity to respond to environmental accidents. The largest investment was procurement of the pollution control vessel “Kindral Kurvits” for the Police and Border Guard Board, a significant contribution to Estonia’s improved marine pollution control capacity.
Improvements will continue over the period 2014-2010, with almost 60 million euros of additional investment envisaged. The focus will be on improving the capacity for fighting against forest and open-area fires and for marine pollution control.
Joint operation exercises are very important, as several authorities often have to cooperate in resolving environmental accidents. Regular cooperation training exercises are organised for this purpose. Emergency response plans, including specifications of duties and responsibilities of different authorities, have been developed for various accident scenarios. Furthermore, there is close cooperation with volunteer organisations, such as the Estonian Fund for Nature as well as volunteer salvage and marine salvage organisations.