More community environmentalists2015-02-20
Almost 140 people joined the ranks of community environmentalists with their number growing from 560 in 2014 to 698 this year.
The majority of the existing community environmentalists (519) are those who already had the mandate which was extended for them by the State Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the regional environmental departments of the Ministry of Environment (REDs). The mandate needs to be extended annually with approval from the issuing authority after a community inspector’s performance is examined.
For the first time, environmental inspectors’ mandates were issued to 129 people this year after they filed applications and passed tests which were held by SEPA and REDs the first week into February. Three hundred applications were received in total, most being from Kaunas and the fewest from Utena region. Two hundred and twenty-eight applicants came to take the tests and 129 passed them.
Another fifty people were issued community environmentalists’ mandates without taking the tests. They only had to file applications as tests are optional for some public servants and members of the Seimas.
Any Lithuanian national over 18 with an impeccable reputation can take tests to become community environmental inspectors provided they have no record of severe and very severe crimes or crimes to the environment and have not been convicted by a court for criminal offences to the environment over the last year. They should also have no record of administrative sanctions for offences in the field of environment and the use of natural resources.
Community environmentalists examine offences together with public environmental inspectors or individually. They can inspect the documents of persons and officials, draw up administrative records and take part in administrative proceedings in respect of those records, identify offenders and bring them to the police.
Public information division
20 February 2015