Navigation path

Share on 
	Share on Facebook
  
	Tweet it
  
	Share on google+
  
	Share on linkedIn
  
    
      E-mail
Set page to normal font sizeIncrease font size by 200 percentBookmark this pageChoose high-contrast version

Estonia

Environmental rules

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Environmental Charges Act provides the basis for the right to apply charges for the exploitation and pollution of natural resources.

The pollution charge may be replaced by environmental investment, if the polluter applies environmental protection measures which guarantee at least a 15% reduction of pollutants or waste within the next three years.

Concerning the environment, a number of EU rules and standards have also been established.

Environmental domains

The Earth's crust and forestry

Mineral resources extraction and exploitation is regulated by the Earth's Crust Act and the Mining Act. From the legal acts applicable to oil shale, the Ambient Air Protection Act and the Waste Act are also important, regulating the use of oil shale in combustion plants and in the production of oil. Mineral resources extraction permits in a mineral deposit of national importance, transboundary water bodies, territorial and inland seas, and in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Estonia are granted by the Ministry of the Environment. Extraction permits in a deposit of local importance are granted by the Environmental Board.

The directing of forestry, forest planning and management, and compensating the damage caused to the environment is regulated by the

Waste management

From 1 January 2008, it is forbidden to deposit unsorted municipal waste in landfills, which means that waste must be collected separately. The requirement for sorting municipal waste is regulated by the Waste Act. Waste sorting is organised by local governments that also provide relevant information to residents.

The grounds for conditioning waste handling are principles of the environmental strategy: sustainable development, the prevention and avoidance of environmental damages, the integration of waste handling with other fields of life and with the exploitation of natural resources.

Chemicals and hazardous waste

In order to handle hazardous waste (collection, transport, recovery, and disposal), the company has to have a hazardous waste handling license that is granted by the Environmental Board. For collecting hazardous waste from residents, the local government shall place collection containers.

The organisation of handling chemicals and restriction of economic activity related to handling chemicals is regulated by the Chemicals Act, which specifies the main safety requirements for handling and the procedure for notification of chemicals.

Additional information on chemicals can be obtained from the chemical safety section of the Health Board:

Water

Water needs protection, above all, from the pollution generated by human activity. The Water Act regulates the protection of water bodies and aquifers and the protection of the catchment areas of water bodies (areas that feed water bodies) against pollution.

In case of special use of water, a permit for special use of water is required and a fee for special use shall be paid in order to compensate for the damages generated to the state of water or a water body when using it.

Air and protection from noise

The Ambient Air Protection Act regulates activity that includes chemical or physical impact to the ambient air, damaging the ozone layer, or generating factors causing climate change.

The requirements on noise in the ambient air are specified by the Ambient Air Protection Act and Public Health Act, pursuant to which standard noise levels, requirements specified for plans and the conditions for preparing a strategic noise map have been established.

Inspection

Environmental Inspectorate is a state authority in the area of government of the Ministry of the Environment, which coordinates and executes supervision in the field of exploitation of the natural environment and natural resources, applying the enforcement powers of the state in the cases provided for by law. In Estonia, environmental supervision is carried out by several other authorities and institutions, such as the Land Board, local governments, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, the Tax and Customs Board, etc., but the Environmental Inspectorate alone carries out supervision and conducts proceedings in the violations of law in all environmental protection areas.

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

Administrative procedures

Permits and licenses

An environmental charge is applied to the following activities related to environmental exploitation:

  • regeneration cutting of a forest stand;
  • extraction of mineral resources;
  • water abstraction;
  • fishing;
  • hunting;
  • emission of pollutants into ambient air, water bodies, groundwater, or soil;
  • waste disposal by deposit in landfills or other activities which result in the release of waste into the environment.

An environmental charge must be paid by everyone who extracts natural resources, emits pollutants into the environment, or disposes of waste. Companies must apply for a permit for the named activity (e.g. mining, exploitation of water, etc.).

Resources

Environmental Permits Information System is an online document management system, the purpose of which is to guarantee the uniform proceeding of environmental permits, enabling one to study and analyse the environmental exploitation taking place based on the existing environmental permits.

Programmes

Environmental Investment Centre offers support and grants to companies, aimed at environmental protection investments and development of projects promoting sustainability and regeneration of the environment.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

Country

Austria

Feldkirch

Graz

Innsbruck

Klagenfurt

Linz

Salzburg

Wien

Belgium

Antwerpen

Arlon

Brugge

Brussels

Charleroi

Gent

Hasselt

Leuven

Libramont

Liège

Mons

Namur

Nivelles

Bulgaria

Dobrich

Plovidiv

Ruse

Sandanski

Sofia

Stara Zagora

Vratsa

Yambol

Croatia

Osijek

Rijeka

Split

Varazdin

Zagreb

Cyprus

Nicosia

Czech Republic

Brno

Brno

Liberec

Ostrava

Ostrava

Pardubice

Plzen

Praha

Usti nad Labem

Denmark

Aalborg

Copenhagen

Herning

Kolding

Næstved

Viborg

Estonia

Tallinn

Finland

Helsinki

Oulu

Tampere

Turku

Vantaa

France

Amiens

Annecy

Aulnat

Besançon

Bordeaux

Bourg en Bresse

Caen

Cayenne

Chalons-en-Champagne

Chambéry

Dijon

Fort-de-France

Grenoble

Lille

Limoges

Lyon

Marseille

Marseille

Montpellier

Montpellier

Nancy

Nantes

Orléans

Paris

Pointe-à-Pitre

Poitiers

Privas

Rennes

Rouen

Saint-Denis

Saint-Etienne

Strasbourg

Toulouse

Valence

Germany

Berlin

Bremen

Bremenhaven

Chemnitz

Dresden

Düsseldorf

Erfurt

Frankfurt/Oder

Freiburg

Hamburg

Hannover

Kaiserslautern

Kiel

Konstanz

Leipzig

Magdeburg

Mannheim

Mülheim an der Ruhr

München

Potsdam

Reutlingen

Rostock

Saabrücken

Stuttgart

Trier

Ulm

Villingen-Schwenningen

Wiesbaden

Greece

Athens

Heraklion

Ioannina

Kavala

Kozani

Thessaloniki

Tripolis

Volos

Hungary

Budapest

Debrecen

Eger

Győr

Miskolc

Nyíregyháza

Pécs

Szeged

Székesfehérvár

Zalaegerszeg

Ireland

Dublin

Italy

Abruzzo

Aosta

Apulia

Ascoli Piceno

Basilicata

Bologna

Bologna

Cagliari

Calabria

Calabria

Campania

Catania

Florence

Genova

Gorizia

Milano

Molise

Naples

Palermo

Palermo

Perugia

Pesaro

Pisa

Pordenone

Ravenna

Rome

Rovereto

Sassari

Sicily

Terni

Torino

Trieste

Udine

Venezia

Venezia

Venezia

Latvia

Riga

Lithuania

Kaunas

Klaipėda

Vilnius

Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Malta

Pieta`

Netherlands

Den Haag

Nieuwegein

Norway

Ås

Oslo

Stavanger

Tromsø

Poland

Bialystok

Gdańsk

Kalisz

Katowice

Kielce

Konin

Kraków

Lublin

Lublin

Olsztyn

Opole

Poznań

Rzeszów

Szczawno-Zdrój

Szczecin

Toruń

Warsaw

Warsaw

Warsaw

Wroclaw

Zielona Góra

Łódź

Portugal

Aveiro

Braga

Coimbra

Évora

Faro

Funchal

Lisboa

Ponta Delgada

Porto

Romania

Arad

Bacau

Bucuresti

Cluj-Napoca

Constanta

Craiova

Galati

Iasi

Ramnicu Valcea

Timișoara

Slovakia

Bratislava

Prešov

Slovenia

Koper

Ljubljana

Maribor

Spain

Albacete

Alicante

Badajoz

Barcelona

Bilbao

Ciudad Real

Donostia- San Sebastian

Ferrol

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Llanera

Logroño

Madrid

Murcia

Oviedo

Palma

Pamplona

Paterna (Valencia)

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santander

Santiago de Compostela

Sevilla

Toledo

Valencia

Valladolid

Vitoria- Gazteiz

Zaragoza

Sweden

Borlänge

Göteborg

Jönköping

Kramfors

Luleå

Malmö

Örebro

Östersund

Stockholm

Umeå

Västerås

Växjö

United Kingdom

Belfast

Bristol

Cambridge

Cardiff

Coventry

Inverness

London

Manchester

Newcastle

Yorkshire and Humber

Enter your message here

* required field (you must enter data here)