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Companies' liability for violation of environmental standards in Ukraine
Companies' liability for violation of environmental standards in Ukraine is less developed than the liability of individuals, leaving room for arbitrary interpretation by the state authorities in charge for ecological issues. This is particularly true for the Procedure of Restriction, Temporary Prohibition (suspension) or Termination of the Activities of Enterprises, Establishments, Organizations and Objects in Case of their Violation of Environmental Protection Legislation approved by the Regulation of the Supreme Council of Ukraine No.2751-XII of 29 October 1992. The Act provides for the right of the ecological authorities to restrict, temporarily prohibit (suspend) or even terminate the activities of enterprises violating ecological rules. However, the grounds for the imposition of such sanctions are rather vague: excess of limits on the use of natural resources, violation of norms on the use of appliances and devices, violation of ecological rules during production, storage, transportation, decontamination, and burial of toxic and other substances, etc. In each case the decision of the ecological authorities will, to a certain extent, be determined by the quantitative and qualitative indicators of the infringement (quantity of pollutants discharged to environment, consequences of pollution, and other indicators). At the same time, the described regulation lacks the criteria to evaluate the gravity of the infringement, which does not contribute to a uniform approach from the ecological authorities.