About usThe environment represents an essential condition for our existence and survival. It is the only milieu for life we have. It is therefore a logical necessity to protect it and enhance. Knowledge is not enough. Only the existence of laws and their effective observance represent a real assurance of sustainable development and improvement of a current environmental status.
Substantial tool for implementing environmental legislative into our life is qualified supervision with legal powers to impose sanctions. The major executive body of this policy in the Slovak Republic is the Slovak Inspectorate of the Environment that was founded by the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic.
The Slovak Inspectorate of the Environment (hereinafter referred to as SIE) is a specialized supervisory authority providing for the state supervision and imposing fines on the matters concerning environment protection and carrying out the municipal administration in the field of integrated pollution prevention and control.
SIE was founded in 1991 by merging two autonomous bodies, the State Water Management Inspectorate and the State Technical Air Protection Inspectorate.
Since 1990 an existing long-lasting legislative gap in the environmental protection has begun to be gradually filled. Intensive preparation of legislative standards stimulated gradual formation of the SIE departments – Department of Waste Management Inspection in 1992 and Department of Nature Protection Inspection in 1995.
Further institutional strengthening of SIE and broadening of its activities are associated with integration of Slovakia into EC. The competences of SIE increased substantially in regards to the transposition of the EU legislation into Slovak legal framework, resulting in establishment of two new departments in 2003
- for the area of biosafety, where SIE acts as an authority of state administration supervision in the field of the use of genetic technologies and genetically modified organisms
- and for the area of integrated prevention and control, where as stipulate in the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Act (Act on IPPC), SIE has also decision-making competences in addition to the supervisory ones, it means SIE is a permitting authority over the bodies subjected to this act.
SIE is a dynamically developing, highly professional organization in terms of professional effectiveness SIE is in the top echelons of EU countries owing to its clearly defined management structure, the use of standardized methods, a directed planning and evaluation of its activities, as well as due to efficient regional and logical structure.
Current spheres of SIE activity include:
- Integrated pollution prevention and control
- Waste management
- Water protection
- Air protection
- Nature and landscape protection
- it supervises, how legal persons, natural persons, entrepreneursand municipalities follow environmental legal provisions,
- it imposes fines and introduces corrective measures, if breach of the environmental legal provisions by monitored subjects is observed,
- it carries out control of imposed correction measures,
- it issues integrated permits,
- it resolves complaints, notices and inputs from public, organizations, other institutions of the state and municipal administration,
- it cooperates with other institutions of the state administration, and with other organizations revealing environmental activities.
The SIE headquarters coordinate SIE work nationwide and internationally, provide methodological and professional support to regional inspectorates and represent the appellate authority to the appealed first-level decisions of regional inspectorates.
The principal activity of the regional inspectorates is the supervision of observation of the environmental legal provisions, imposing of fines and introduction of corrective measures.
Employees of SIE are aware that the aim of the supervision and the sanctions is predominately the ambition to bring the activity of monitored organization in accord with the legal provisions and to increase environmental responsibility of the organizations. Imposing fines is subjected to this aim. It means that the fine should motivate, i.e. it must be an impulse to strict observation of legal provisions and in turn this would guarantee elimination of faults and a decrease of their negative impact on the environment.
Throughout its existence, the awareness of SIE among public and professionals has raised. Even though there is a controversy in a perception of supervising institution in the society, it is an objective reality, that consistent control and adequate repressive measures in particular are the most effective tools for achieving necessary environmental responsibility of individuals and organizations. Its activities promote the law enforcement and substantially contribute to the environmental status of the Slovak Republic.
Resulting from its nationwide operation, SIE is considered to be one of the major implementary bodies in the Slovak Republic. The implementation of environmental law is of the utmost importance of the SIE nowadays and in the long-term perspective as well.