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Monday 09.12.2019 | Name days: Sarmīte, Tabita
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Riga City Council opposition threatens to dismiss environment committee's head

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Ansis Ansbergs, waste management, Riga City Council, For Latvia's Development, opposition, Vjačeslavs Stepaņenko

Vjačeslavs Stepaņenko

Riga City Council’s opposition demands the head of the city council’s Housing and Environment Committee Vjačeslavs Stepaņenko to take political responsibility and have his dismissed from his post, as reported by For Latvia’s Development Riga City Council faction representative Ieva Graudiņa-Šutko.

The party also wants to organize an extraordinary meeting of the committee to agree on an action plan to help sort out the waste management system in the capital. It is also planned to review the Housing and Environment Department’s report the action plan for sorting the waste management system in Riga in line with the term set by Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce.

The party also wants Stepaņenko to be dismissed from his post.

«We can see the situation with waste management is critical. A state of emergency was declared in Riga on 11 September,» says deputy Ansis Ansbergs.

He explains the request for Stepaņenko’s dismissal with the official’s inaction in regards to actions to improve the situation with waste management, as well as the fact that this topic was discussed only once by the Housing and Environment Committee since the coming of the crisis. Even after criticisms from Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry nothing was done to improve the situation, explains Ansbergs.

The deputy has commenced signature collection for organization of an extraordinary meeting. He needs signatures from at least seven other deputies.

More on this topic: If Riga City Council fails to resolve waste management problem, Pūce may initiate dismissal

If Riga City Council fails to resolve the waste management problem by 11 December, Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry will likely initiate the city council’s dismissal, said Environment Minister Juris Pūce in a conversation with journalists on 21 November.

The minister said he has given the municipality 20 days to submit to the ministry explanations and a detailed action plan on how they plan to ensure waste transporting in the city after 11 December, when the state of emergency is set to end.

He says explanations received from the municipality yesterday do not suggest the city council has a clear action plan.

Riga City Council needs to submit a plan on how they plan to inform residents about the situation. At the same time, together with the request of information, the ministry has informed the city council of multiple lasting violations. A warning has been issued.

Pūce says the ministry has turned to Riga City Council seven times this year, stressing the failure to comply with entrusted duties in waste management, adding that the city council does not have appropriate binding rules. On top of that, Riga City Council has not followed through in response to criticisms.

Riga City Council and SIA Getliņi EKO have signed a waste management contract for waste management services worth a total of EUR 686.3 million in a public-private partnership. SIA CREB Rīga was declared the winner. This company consists of two service providers – Clear R and Eco Baltia vide.

In accordance with the public-private partnership process, the winner of the tender was to start providing waste management services in Riga starting from 15 September, as well as secure investments in the next 20 years. In the beginning of June, Getliņi EKO and CREB Rīga registered a joint company Rīgas vides pakalpojumi. Later, however, the company changed name to Tīrīga.

Competition Council, suspicious of possible abuse of dominating presence in the market, later initiated a violation case against Riga municipality and Getliņi EKO. To competition on the waste management market is maintained during the review of the case, Competition Council adopted a temporary regulation, which prohibited Tīrīga from signing contracts with residents after 15 September.

Read also: Competition Council: Riga City Council takes no responsibility for its own mess

On 11 September Latvia’s government declared a state of emergency in Riga.


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