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The European environment – state and outlook 2010

The European environment – state and outlook 2010

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National and regional story (SOER 2010) - Improved repression against environmental infringments

Environmental laws to combat infringements in the Walloon Region

Key message

Improving the repression against environmental infringements in collaboration with local authorities

Improving the repression against environmental infringements

In terms of environmental violations and controls, different laws and regulations have recently been developed in the Walloon Region. The last provisions originate from the decree of 5 June 2008 dedicated to the research, finding, tracking and sanctioning of environmental infringements, as well as to remedies of environmental damages. Besides the pursuit of consistency, clarity and efficiency, this decree aims to extend the possibilities of repression through the establishment of a system of regional and municipal fines associated with a mechanism of immediate perception.

Previously, the control of environmental laws application and the repression of infringements involved only federal and local police as well as special services of the Regional Administration (Police of the Environment). Following the entry into force of the decree of 5 June 2008, municipal and intermunicipal agents are now authorised to officially find certain environmental infringement. The municipalities take care of simple local problems (burning waste at home, illegal dumping of household or inert waste...) and collaborate with the Walloon Region for the suppression of nuisances caused by the more polluting activities. This division of tasks is formalised by the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between local authorities and the Walloon Region. At the end of February 2010, this memorandum involved 201 municipalities (on 262).