Farmer of the Year must pay 40,000 euros in fine04.09.2012, 13:20
Avo Samarüütel who last week was named Estonian Farmer of the Year has little to rejoice right now because he has to pay the state 40,000 euros in environmental fees, writes Postimees.
A day before he hosted prime minister Andrus Ansip and showed him the farm, Samarüütel received a bill from the environmental protection agency in which the agency said that it had fined him the amount of 40,700 euros for failure to submit his report in time.
The problem occurred in the second half of 2010 when the cattle owned by Samarüütel exceeded the 300 cow mark. This means that, by law, the farmer was obliged to obtain a special environmental permit that requires filling out about a hundred pages of various documents.
The special environmental permit covers everything related to the environmental impact ranging from air pollution to water use.
Samarüütel admits that he was late to draw up and submit to environmental protection authorities the documents, but says that before fining him, the authorities could have sent him a reminder.
Samarüütel said since there was too much to do, he had contracted a person to draw up the paperwork.
“I admit that I did not pressure him enough. I submitted the papers on December 29,” said Samarüütel who already had a permit for water use.
The environmental authorities finally issued the permit to Samarüütel’s farm Männiku Piim on May 30, 2012 while, by law, he should have had it already from the start of 2011.
The fine that was issued includes the period of five months that the officials of the environmental agency reviewed the documents.
According to Samarüütel, it may be also the authorities that violated the law because they must review the documents in 120 days, but it took them five months.0