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Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers have alerted their client of the risks pertaining to the obligation to include overburden dumps in the State Register of Waste Disposal Facilities

Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers have prepared a legal opinion for a large mining company in Novosibirsk Region regarding the ‘legalisation’ of overburden dumps by including them in the State Register of Waste Disposal Facilities. They have also worked out other options for managing mining waste which are acceptable in terms of current regulation.

There are a number of gaps and contradictions in the legal regulation of waste management. For instance, the Law on Production and Consumer Waste enshrines the principles for promoting the use of waste products, alongside the unified charge for storing and dumping waste where a person has no right to have the charge refunded after such waste has been used. Provisions regarding the best available technologies, which are predominantly set out in the national quality standards referred to in Russian as “GOSTs”, make it possible to use overburden (which is a natural soil) for reclamation or as raw materials and construction materials. Those documents, however, are not regulatory acts, nor are they treated as grounds for an exemption from waste disposal charges by the competent authority (i.e. the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, abbreviated in Russian as “Rosprirodnadzor”). As a result, there are numerous bureaucratic hurdles involved in waste use, including in the form of demands that superfluous administrative procedures should be undergone (e.g. a state environmental expert review).

During the project, our lawyers have identified the legal implications of overburden dumps being recorded in the state register as waste disposal facilities and the risks of non-compliance with that obligation. They have also elaborated scenarios which the client can follow to defend its interests when decisions are issued which are inconsistent with well-established court and administrative practice involving the management of overburden waste.

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