The Constitutional Court of the Komi Republic refused to review the inquiry of the State Council's deputies, who demanded challenging the constitutionality of a section of the territorial waste management scheme. This section suggests using installations for the thermal destruction of waste in hard-to-reach areas of the region. The full text of the ruling has been published on the court's website.
Deputies of the State Council of the Komi Republic Oleg Mikhailov, Ilya Bogdanov, and Ekaterina Dyachkova appealed to the court over the updated territorial waste management scheme adopted in December 2020. The sixth section of this document outlines plans to put four thermal destruction plants into operation in outlying areas with no year-round transport link in 2022. That is the left-bank part of the Pechora river, the villages of Sivaya Maska, Yeletsky and Ust-Tsilma.
The deputies pointed out in their inquiry that the territorial scheme recognized economic expediency as a higher priority than the preservation of the environment and the health of citizens, which contradicted the Constitution of the Komi Republic and the state policy in the field of waste management. They noticed that the appendix to the territorial scheme did not contain the names of the plants, describe how they worked and assess possible environmental hazard. Nevertheless, the applicants pointed out that the existing thermal destructors and incineration plants for solid household waste disposal produced highly noxious emissions into the atmosphere and toxic ash, which had higher hazard class than ordinary household waste. The Komi Republic has no capacities to decontaminate such ash, so, according to the deputies, the introduction of thermal destruction plants will endanger the environment and the entire local community's life.
The Constitutional Court decided that the territorial waste management scheme had been developed by the authorized body in compliance with the established procedure and in accordance with Law 89-FZ, which had been adopted "in order to prevent adverse health effects and environmental hazard." Therefore, the court believes that the territorial scheme’s section "cannot be regarded as violating constitutional rights."
The judges also noted that the assessment of the ecological safety of different thermal destructors' models was beyond the competence of the Constitutional Court, so they refused to review the deputy inquiry.
The court delivered the same judgement on the complaint of Lyudmila Parnacheva from Komi, who asked to challenge the constitutionality of the same section of the territorial waste management scheme.