14 Jul 2020 16:22

President Putin signs law on oil spill prevention

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the Federal Law "On Amendments to Article 46 of the Federal Law 'On Environmental Protection' and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation."

The law regulates issues related to oil and oil products spill prevention and response and is aimed at preventing emergency situations such as the diesel fuel spill in Norilsk in the Krasnoyarsk Region.

The document sets down requirements in the field of environmental protection in geological exploration, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, as well as in processing (production), transportation, storage, sale of hydrocarbon feedstock and products made from it.

According to the federal law, such activities should include measures to prevent and eliminate oil and petroleum product spills and other negative impacts on the environment.

It is being envisaged that organizations operating in the field of geological study, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, as well as processing (production), transportation, storage, sale of hydrocarbons and products manufactured from them (operating organizations), must before January 1, 2024 approve plans for prevention and elimination of oil and petroleum product spills. These plans, as well as changes made to them, shall be coordinated with Rosprirodnadzor in terms of their compliance with requirements established by the Russian government.

The law establishes the requirements for the operating organization to implement measures to prevent and respond to spills of oil and petroleum products, financial support for these activities, as well as the responsibilities of the operating organization and the procedure for federal executive authorities in the event of spills of oil and petroleum products.

It is stipulated that the government must establish requirements for the composition and equipment of emergency services and (or) rescue units involved in the implementation of measures to prevent spills of oil and petroleum products.

The federal law introduces the corresponding amendments to the federal laws "On emergency rescue services and the status of rescuers", "On the continental shelf of the Russian Federation", "On inland waters, the territorial sea and the contiguous zone of the Russian Federation", and establishes transitional provisions.

The draft bill was introduced by the government and adopted in its first reading back in March 2018 and has since then been undergoing coordination for a second reading, but was fast-tracked following the accident in Norilsk.

The law will enter into effect on January 1, 2021.