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Bulgaria

Environmental rules

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Bulgarian environmental legislation includes:

The Bulgarian Ministry of the Environment and Waters (MOSV), The Bulgarian Executive Environment Agency (IAOS), Regional Inspectorates of the Environment and Waters (RIOSV), Basin Directorates (BD), National Park Directorates (DNP) and local authorities responsible for applying environmental legislation.

Land development

The Bulgarian Environmental Protection Act (ZOOS) regulates the implementation of procedures for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for investment proposals.

EIAs are required before the construction of nuclear or thermal powers stations, and any manufacturing facilities, slaughterhouses, large farms, roads, hotels, resorts, sports facilities, etc.

Waste management

The Waste Management Act (ZOS) lays down the general requirements for protecting the environment and human health activity with relation to waste.

Environmental protection control is carried out by the Bulgarian Ministry of the Environment and Waters.

Chemicals

Legislation in this field is fully harmonised with that of the EU.

Water

The Bulgarian Waters Act (ZV) lays down the main principles in water management, water and water facility ownership, the competent bodies responsible for water management at national and local level, and their control.

Mineral resources

Mineral resource protection and their rational use is the main obligation of anyone involved in their exploration and use.

Soils

The Soils Act (ZP) regulates the protection, sustainable use and remediation of soils after any kind of use.

Nature protection

Bulgaria is part of the NATURA 2000 international network.

Climate and air

If polluters do not stick to the dangerous materials limits, they will be subject to various sanctions.

The introduction of the trading scheme for greenhouse gases limits СО2 emissions by various operators.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum environmental legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Control over the implementation of environmental protection legislation is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment and Waters.

Control is exercised according to handbooks and methodological instructions.

Land development

Conducting an EIA goes through several stages, which include:

  • notifying the relevant environmental protection body and the affected local inhabitants;
  • preparing a report;
  • public consultations;
  • issuing an EIA decision;
  • control over the implementation of the terms and conditions of the EIA decision.

Waste management

In the field of waste management, the following procedures are done:

  • Building permit application.
  • Declarations from the persons carrying out waste-related activities
  • Register of Issued Waste-related Permits

Chemicals

The permit scheme for preventing large-scale accidents involving dangerous substances and limiting their consequences.

Water

According to the Waters Act (ZV), owners of wells shall declare them to the relevant basin directorate for water management. The directorates keep registers of the wells within their territory.

Mineral resources

Permits for exploring and/or studying, and for concessions, to mine minerals are issued by tender, by auction; or by the right of the sole applicant.

Climate and air

Operators of new and existing installations shall submit to the Executive Environmental Agency applications for emissions and greenhouse gases permits.

Waste management

Integral permits – Permit applications shall be drawn up in accordance with the scope and content requirements described in the methodology guidelines.

Chemicals

Notification of the export of dangerous chemicals:

Issuing a permit:

Water

To use water and/or operate a water facility, a water use permit or a water facility use permit is required.

Mineral water is sourced by means of a concession.

Mineral resources

The exploration and study of underground mineral resources is carried out based on a permit, whereas extraction is done via a concession.

Climate and air

For air quality protection, permits are issued by the Bulgarian Minister of the Environment and Waters.

Noise pollution protection

Industrial noise pollution sources are not subject to a separate permit scheme. Noise pollution conditions are set out only in integral permits for industrial facilities and plants.

Waste management

With regard to control procedures for environmental protection, various inspections - preliminary, ongoing and follow-up, are carried out.

Chemicals

Control over chemicals is carried out by the RIOSVs, Regional Public Health Inspectorates (RIOKOZs) and the Central Labour Inspectorate Executive Agency.

Water

Control bodies for water management are the Ministry of the Environment and Waters and the basin directorates.

They carry out inspections to check compliance with the conditions of water and water facility use permits, and ensure that there is no unauthorised water and/or water facility use.

Mineral resources

State control to protect mineral resources and their rational use is carried out by the Minister of the Environment and Waters, or by the Minister of Culture where cultural heritage and monuments are involved.

Soils

Inspections are conducted by the RIOSVs to ensure compliance with the restrictions stipulated in the Soils Act (ZP) and the requirements of the Liability for Preventing and Rectifying Environmental Damage Act (ZOPOESht) and the Environmental Protection Act (ZOOS).

Climate and water

Inspections are carried out by the RIOSVs.

Noise pollution protection

Noise pollution is regulated in an government order.

Programmes

The Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Agency has been developing programmes and projects for improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources, and ensures funding for various projects and programmes.

Help & advice

Help & advice

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