State of the Environment Bulgaria 2003
Meeting the ambient air quality norms in Bulgaria has been established in the strategic Action Plan for the period from 2000 through 2006. For the purpose of reaching this goal, some of the measures set forth in the Plan are aimed at improving liquid fuel quality and preventing and/or limiting harmful substances emissions into the ambient air released by mobile sources. Some of the measures provided for are as follows:
· Implementation of the National Programme for Phasing out the Production and Use of Leaded Petrol and implementation of European requirements for liquid fuel quality;
· Introduction of a National System for Liquid Fuel Quality Control;
· Introduction of a National System for Type- Approval of Motor vehicles;
The main objective of this Programme is the transition to production, import and use only of unleaded petrol after 31 December 2003.
On 14 November 2001 the Law on Amendment and Supplement to the Ambient Clean Air Act was adopted by the XXXIX-th NA. A Regulation shall provide for the following:
· technical and qualitative requirements for liquid fuels;
· norms for the content of lead, sulphur and other harmful substances in such fuels;
· the terms, procedures and methods of liquid fuel control.
According to Article 8, paragraph 2, the sale and/or use of liquid fuels containing harmful substances or fuels with technical characteristics that do not meet the norms laid down in the abovementioned Regulation is prohibited. At the same time liquid fuels shall be accompanied by a declaration certifying that they meet the quality requirements all the way from the manufacturer or the importer respectively to the end distributor (Art. 8, paragraph 3).
According to Article 30a, the Chairperson of the State Agency for Standardization and Metrology (SASM) (at present State Agency for Metrology and Technical Supervision) is responsible for organizing the quality control of liquid fuels along the manufacturer/ importer – distributor - consumer chain, including filling stations.
In the Law on Amendment and Supplement to the Ambient Clean Air Act (ACAA) some administrative and penal provisions have been added setting fines or sanctions for selling,, producing or importing liquid fuels not meeting the norms for harmful substances content and the technical requirements; failure to include the appropriate declarations; and obstructing the SASM authorities from performing their duties.
The elaboration of a draft Regulation setting the requirements for liquid fuels and the procedures and methods of control is still underway. The establishment of a Head Directorate for the Control of Liquid Fuel Quality is planned.
Although most of the measures included in the National Programme for Phasing out the Production and Use of Leaded Petrol in the Republic of Bulgaria have been implemented, the elaboration and adoption of relevant legislation within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), regarding the endorsement of vehicle types is still way behind. According to the Road Traffic Act (RTA) (SG 20/1999.) in force since 1 September 1999 only approved motor vehicle types are allowed to enter into service. The type-approval procedure also regulates the norms for harmful substances content in exhaust gases from motor vehicles.
In this connection, in 2001 the Ministry of Transport and Communications issued a draft Law on Amendment and Supplement to the Road Traffic Act introducing the matters relating to type-approval of motor vehicle categories in compliance with Directive 70/156/EEC and the implementation of type-approval procedures for motor vehicles into Bulgarian legislation. A draft Law on Amendment and Supplement to the Road Transport Act for the purpose of achieving full coherence with European requirements for the transport of harmful loads within Bulgaria was drawn up. Both bills were adopted by the National Assembly and entered into force in 2002.
The introduction of new motor vehicle registration certificates listing important indices of environment protection relevance is planned.
Measures in the field of air transport are aimed at limiting the use of airplanes with engines that release emissions of harmful substances not meeting the requirements for airplane engines in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation. A Regulation issued by the Ministry of Transport sets forth the norms for aviation noise and emissions from airplane engines, as well as the requirements for issuing and revoking certificates verifying that airplanes and aviation engines meet these norms.
In 2001 one of the major activities involving the efforts of the Civil Aviation Administration Head Directorate was the preparation for carrying out the project “Reconstruction, development and extension of Sofia Airport – New runway system and concomitant activities, and New terminal building and adjoining infrastructure.”
As a result of carrying out projects relating to the construction, reconstruction, modernization and electrification of a number of railways around the country a new electrified section of the railway network was put into operation in the autumn of 2001. This should have a beneficial effect and should make railway transport even more environment-friendly.
A number of ecological projects, some completed, some still underway and a third part still in line have been financed through bank credits, non-repayable aid from the European Union – PHARE and ISPA, the state budget, etc.
Along with implementing technical, regulatory, legislative, financial, and other measures, set forth in different environmental plans and programmes for reducing pollution and improving ambient air quality, the active involvement of the public in various activities aimed at achieving a cleaner and healthier environment is also of great importance. In this connection the “No car day!” initiative, which started as a pilot project in 1998 following a proposal by the French Ministry of Territorial Management and Environment, has been carried out in a number of European cities for several years.
The main objective of this initiative is to encourage public concern for ambient air pollution due to the unwise use of motor vehicles in cities and to develop practices for improving mobility and at the same time preserving the environment through strengthening the positions of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
Last update on March 2003