Ukrainian MPs have wholly enacted bill no. 2339, which provides for increased consequences for air pollution and the destruction or damage to flora.
The decision was made at an extraordinary parliamentary session on April 13.
According to the bill's explanatory note, fines for atmospheric air pollution, destruction or damage to wildlife, breach of fire safety requirements in forests and unauthorized burning of dry vegetation or its residues will be substantially increased.
In particular, for the unauthorized burning of vegetation or its residues, fines were previously set at 10-20 tax-free minimums for citizens ($6.30-12.60) and 50-70 TFMs for officials ($31-44). Now the penalties have increased more than tenfold – to 180-300 TFMs ($113-188) and 900-1200 TFMs ($565-754) respectively.
In addition, the fine for atmospheric air pollution will now be between 1,800 and 3,600 tax-free minimums ($1,130-2,261) or restriction of freedom for up to three years.
Citizens will have to pay from $3,391-5,652 for the destruction or damage of flora, or they may face restriction of freedom for a term of two to five years.
The bill also introduces increasing fines for breaches of fire safety requirements in forests. Violators will now pay fines of $57-170. It will cost officials $170-565.
According to the State Emergency Service, since the beginning of the year, fires have destroyed nearly 18,000 hectares of ecosystems.
Firefighters are continuing to extinguish fires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which was set aflame on April 4. The blaze is now reportedly approaching the ghost town of Pripyat, according to the director of Chornobyl Tour. The government has already set aside UAH 45 million ($1.7 million) from its reserve fund to combat the issue.