We believe environmental requirements are important – but they must be reasonable
It is sometimes said that Sweden has one of the world’s harshest environmental laws. Basically, that is a good thing, of course, but it is not realistic to have environmental regulations that do not take into account that all human activities have some effect on their surroundings.
All producing mining companies are subject to a permit under the Environmental Code. The permit is associated with a number of conditions, including emissions to air and water. Applying for a permit is a big and time-consuming job that includes includes environmental impact assessment (EIA), which describes the environmental impact that the business generates.
It is important that the demands placed on the companies are based on the environmental conditions that apply to the individual plant and are technically and economically reasonable. The administrative management of permits and supervision must also be reasonable in order not to take resources from the actual environmental work.
Our ambition is to influence the development of society’s environmental requirements so that companies are given reasonable opportunities to develop their operations. An important role for us is to work to take account of the mining industry’s conditions when developing, implementing and applying laws and regulations in the environmental field.
In most cases, the requirements have been initiated within the EU system. Often, the decisive decisions are made in Brussels and the Member States are then obliged to transpose these rules into national law. It is important that Sweden and the EU take into account the risk of eroding the international competitiveness of Swedish industry when introducing new requirements.
In the environmental area, Svemin works for:
- that environmental requirements, taxes and fees are related to real environmental benefits as well as companies’ competitive conditions.
- that environmental legislation is harmonized with other countries where the mining industry’s competitors operate.
- that the regulations are simple and clear and do not contradict each other. There should not be multiple instruments with the same purpose, so-called. double control means.
- that the environmental requirements are based on scientific grounds and lead to environmental improvements from a holistic perspective.
- that environmental legislation is technology neutral and does not control product development