Comparative and legal analysis of authorized environmental government bodies reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan and in the United States of America
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №8 - 2016
Gavrilova Yuliya, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
Sagidoldin Kanat, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
In Nation Plan 100 Specific Steps to
implement five institutional reforms (May, 2015) President of the Republic of Kazakhstan set a clear goal, transition of government administration, to the
government administration of specific results . It applies to the whole
system of government bodies, including environmental management departments.
Plus, above mentioned step emerges full blown in circumstances of the state
detraction from environmental issues, status reclassification of government
bodies accredited to ensure natural resources conservancy and environmental
rights of human.
How the system of environmental government
bodies in RK has been reforming since Kazakhstan became an independent state?
What are eco-law consequences of such reorganization of environmental government
administrative bodies to the environment, its components, and humanТs health
and life? Is the activity of environmental body result oriented, as indicated
in УNation Plan 100 Ц specific steps to implement five institutional reforms?
Are we able to use international experience of government administration to
solve environmental issues in our state?
In an effort to answer these questions on
the assumption of, that organization particularly, and creation of government
administration bodies in the field of society and environment interrelation is
the underlying function of environmental management. It has been truly stated
by M. Brinchyuk, that Уenvironmental functions implementationТs efficiency predetermined
largely by accurateness and scientific validity of the created specific bodies
system in charge in the field of environmental protectionЕФ [2, p. 34]. Upon that, this statement is relevance
of to each state regardless to its socio-economic and political development.
Assuming commonness of environmental issues each of RK and US, it deemed
necessary to conduct comparative legal analysis of the main RK and US
environmental government bodiesТ reformation aiming to derive positive
international practice of government environmental regulation.
Thus, December, 20, 1990 the Decree of the
President of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic УAdministrative government
bodiesТ readjustment in Kazakh SSRФ formed Kazakh SSR State Committee for
Geology and Protection of Minerals and Kazakh SSR State Committee for Water
Resources on the basis of Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Management of
Kazak SSR. Two specific natural resources bodies were established in the field
of water and mineral resources. Kazakh SSR State Committee for Environmental
Protection and Management became the main environmental body on the basis of
abolishing Kazakh SSR State Committee for Environmental Protection.
It should be highlighted, that Kazakh SSR
State Committee for Environmental Protection and Management, as the authorized
governmental body in the field of environmental protection, was readjusted in 1992 in the execution of Cabinet of Minister of the RK Order #345 to the Ministry of Ecology and
Bioresources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Following incorporated units formed
Ministry of Ecology and Bioresources of the Republic of Kazakhstan:
- Ministry of Forestry Management of the Republic of Kazakhstan was merged into Committee for Forest
- Committee for fishery under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan was merged into Central administrative board on fishery protection
and supervision over nature management at fishery basins (Kazglavrybokhrana)
with industrial acclimatization station;
- Central Administrative Board on Wildlife Protection (Kazglavzhivokhrana);
- State research and production association of industrial ecology
УKazmekhanobrФ on the basis of State research and project institute
УKazmekhanobrФ of color metal and ore beneficiation.
Evidently, the special freestanding
government body on the level of Ministry was formed at the establishing of
Kazakh statehood, and was responsible for environmental protection and
In 1996 new Regulations affirmed by RK
Government Resolution confirmed Ministry of Ecology and Bioresources as a main
executive body of government supra body supervision over environmental protection
and management on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Therefore, the
Ministry carried out following tasks:
- development of unified government policy in environmental protection
- organization and implementation of government control of compliance
with requirements of Kazakhstan Environmental Law, International Agreements and
Conventions ratified by RK in the field of Environmental protection and management;
- development and enhancement of natural management economic mechanism;
- organization of events to disseminate environmental awareness and
environmental consciousness upgrade.
For the purposes of tasks implementation,
the Ministry was assigned with functions of organization and implementation of
government control in the field of environmental protection and natural resources
management, also prevention of radioactive pollution, conservation measures of
waste utilization, storage, transport and product waste disposal, transboundary
movement of toxic material, substances and hazardous waste and etc. What is
more, functions assigned to the Ministry reflected and emphasized
environmental-oriented activity of this government body.
However, the Ministry of Energy and Natural
Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan was formed in compliance with the
Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated March, 4, 1997
#3377 УRegular measures on reformation government bodies system of the Republic
of KazakhstanФ. The Ministry exercised government administration in power
sector, petroleum, natural-gas, metal mining and nuclear industry, subsurface
protection and management, also within the pale of the law cross-sector
Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan had been being at the
head of government administration bodies system in the field of environmental
security from 1999 to 2002. The Ministry was the central executive body in the
field of environmental security, and was assigned to carry out functions of
government administration and supervision, also to implement cross-sector
co-ordination in the field of environmental protection and rational exploitation
of natural resources, including nature conservation areas. The Ministry had
administrative entities, such as Committee for Environmental Protection,
Committee for Forestry, Fishery and Game Management, Committee for Water
Resources. As to its main functions, they were almost conceptional identical to
the area activity functions of the Ministry of Ecology and Bioresources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Although, except implementation of government supervision,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of RK, was obliged
to take measures to improvement of the whole government supervision system in
the field of environmental protection and conservancy of nature.
Unfortunately, Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environmental Protection of RK was reorganized to Ministry of Environmental
Protection in 2002. Its authority and functions in the field of water resources,
forestry, fishery and game management was transferred to the Ministry of
Agriculture. The Committee for Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan was
The new function of environmental
protection system optimization and participation in the nature management system
optimization stood out amongst the other conventional functions such as: government
supervision in the field of environmental protection; environmental compliance
supervision, environmental regulatory compliance; improvement of the government
administration and monitoring system in the field of environmental protection;
economic methods of environmental protection within the scope of competence.
Not to mention the fact, that management of particular natural resources was
transferred to another governmental body, the Ministry of Environmental
Protection was assigned a function of government supervision over environmental
protection and rational exploitation of natural resources, and environmental
legislation compliance, including the following:
- observance of: specified standards on fugitive emission to
atmosphere; production facilities sanitary-protection zone regime; standards,
rules and other air protection regulations.
- technogenic pollution protection of soil, undertake set of measures
on protection, restoration and improvement of soil fertility;
- observance of: specified terms in permissions to use natural
resources and state expert conclusions, enforcement of the agreements on
natural resources use.
- rational use of water resources; pollution, clogging and depletion
protection of surface water; observance of water consumption and water disposal
limits and rules; observance of water usage regime, and sewage disposal
conditions and procedures;
- radiation safety claims observance;
- environmental compliance measures of process, consumer and other
waste burial (storage);
- observance of: environmental regulations and rules at mining,
minerals processing; widespread mineral deposit extraction and exploitation
- observance of rules and regulations of pesticide, artificial
fertilizer and other chemical agents treatment, storage, transport and
- assimilation of capital investment to environment protection
purposes; observance of environmental standards in the field of animal and
plant world protection, reproduction and exploitation, also observance of environmental
safety regime of special protected areas;
- observance of import and export claims of wild animals and culture
species or their derivatives threatened with extinction;
Committee for Conservational Supervision
was formed as a division in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2004. One of its main functions was the implementation of
Next reform of environmental ministry was
its reorganization in 2013 by transforming it to the Ministry of Environment
and Water Resources of Kazakhstan, it was assigned with authority and functions
to form and implement government policy in the field of:
1) water supplement
to users or to association of users and its drainage in purpose of soil hydro
technical amelioration related to Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
2) rational and
multipurpose use of subsoil water, except geological study of subsurface in
subsoil water that related to Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
A regulation on Ministry of Energy of the
Republic of Kazakhstan was affirmed by The Government of the Republic of
Kazakhstan in as little as a year in 2014 in order to modernize and efficiency improvement of the government supervision system. The main executive body carried
out organization and implementation of government policy and cooperation
procedure management in the field of environmental protection, natural management,
protection, supervision and oversight over rational exploitation of natural
resources, domestic solid waste management, development of renewable energy
resources, and supervision over government policy for Уgreen economyФ improvement.
Therefore, nowadays there is no special
independent government body of administration in the field of environmental
protection in the Republic of Kazakhstan. In the theory of environmental law
such process qualifies as Уde-ecolization of government powerФ reflected in
detraction of government from consideration environmental standards when
executive decision making, financial backing cuts of environmental activities;
status lowering of governmental bodies authorized to insure environmental protection,
rational exploitation of natural resources, human and other objects environmental
safetyЕ[3, p. 62]. Since Kazakhstan became independent state, these are the results of endless government bodiesТ
reformation in the field of environmental protection.
In terminated for reasons undefined under
the Decree of the President of RK dated April, 13, 2011 #47 Ecological Concept
to 2004-2015 of the Republic of
Kazakhstan, it was emphasized that, УЕ massive improvement in environmental
situation has not happened yet, and it is still described by environmental
system degradation, that leads to destabilization of biosphere, losing its
ability to keep the environmental standards, indispensible for vital activity
of society.Ф Apparently, even the official concept regulatory legal act has
recognized essence and unsettled environmental problem by government, which
affects adversely to human health and life in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Except that, Уthere are grounds to consider defects in administrative power as one
of the main reasons of environmental crisesЕФ, noted professor M. Brinchyuk,
environmental law section leader at Institute of State and Law of the Russian
Academy of Science, doctor of Juridical Science [2, p. 34]. At that rate, step 91 of aforementioned Plan turns of important
relevance, which guides government bodies to specific result, in our case,
government activity according to Article 31 of RK Constitution sets an objective
to protect the environment, favorable for life and health of the person.
What is the history and development of the US main environmental agency? Is it possible to exercise international experience in the
field of natural resource management in RK to settle ecological issues?
As is well known, there are three levels of
government administration in the US: federal, state and local. Consequently,
government administrative bodies in natural management are represented by
federal (specialized bodies; branch administration bodies); state and local
agencies. The core value of American national identity is the supremacy
principle of federal law over states law. States legal activity shall not
impair any, neither US Constitution nor US Laws .
The main federal executive body in the
field of environmental protection is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), which supervises the execution of US environmental law.
Beginning in the late 1950s and through the
1960s, Congress reacted to increasing public concern about the impact that
human activity could have on the environment. A key legislative option to address
this concern was the declaration of a national environmental policy. Advocates
of this approach argued that without a specific policy, federal agencies were
neither able nor inclined to consider the environmental impacts of their
actions in fulfilling the agency's mission. The statute that ultimately
addressed this issue was the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
The law was signed by President Nixon on
January 1, 1970. NEPA was the first of several major environmental laws passed
in the 1970s. It declared a national policy to protect the environment and created
a Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the
President. To implement the national policy, NEPA required that a detailed statement
of environmental impacts be prepared for all major federal actions significantly
affecting the environment. The "detailed statement" would ultimately
be referred to as an environmental impact statement.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon proposed
an executive reorganization that would consolidate many of the federal
government's environmental responsibilities under one agency, a new Environmental
Protection Agency. That reorganization proposal was reviewed and passed by the
House and Senate.
The act was modeled on the Resources and
Conservation Act of 1959, introduced by Senator James E. Murray in the 86th
Congress. That bill would have established an environmental advisory council in
the office of the President, declared a national environmental policy, and
required the preparation of an annual environmental report. In the years following
the introduction of Senator Murray's bill, similar bills were introduced and
hearings were held to discuss the state of the environment and Congress's
potential responses to perceived problems. In 1968, a joint House-Senate colloquium was convened by the chairmen of the Senate Committee on
Interior and Insular Affairs (Senator Henry M. Jackson) and the House Committee
on Science and Astronautics (Representative George Miller) to discuss the need
for and potential means of implementing a national environmental policy. In the
colloquium, some Members of Congress expressed a continuing concern over
federal agency actions affecting the environment.
When EPA first began, the private sector
felt strongly that the environmental protection movement was a passing fad, and
the agencyТs first administrator, William Ruckelshaus, felt pressure to show a
public that was deeply skeptical about governmentТs effectiveness that EPA
could respond effectively to widespread concerns about pollution .
Thus, Agency was established as a response
to global environmental challenges, which cause discontent of American society.
Today, AgencyТs head-quarter is located in Washington D.C. The Agency is represented by 10 offices and 27 laboratories at regional
level. Agency is chaired by administrator, who is Cabinet level official.
EPA is formed by 13 departments, for air Ц
Office of Air and Radiation(OAR), for land Ц Office of Land and Emergency
Management (OLEM), for water Ц Office of Water (OW), for pollution prevention Ц
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) are responsible and
etc. The activity of Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) is
worth of special emphasize, which places special emphasis to law enforcement
for environmental offenses.
Amongst functions and tasks of the Agency
can be distinguished: law enforcement supervision; introduction of environmental
standards; issuance of permits; offense prevention; monitoring and research
conduct in the field of environmental protection and etc. Given the scope of
responsibilities consider allowance for delegation of authority to states, e.g.
supervision functions assigned to the office inspectors conducting audits in
form of assessment .
For example EPA has right to issue
certificate for particular activity with environmental impact. However, if
states have EPA approved certificate issuance program, or such right is
delegated by EPA, they are allowed to issue such document unto itself.
States have to provide legal background
that proves their organizational and technical capability to issue certificates.
At present, over 75% of states issue certificates unto itself, in other states
it is implemented by EPA. Certificate generally is issued for a term of five
years; after expiration the new certificate shall be obtained. New certificate
cannot be issued with more amenable regulations of pollution discharge. New
certificates, usually specifies harder requirements. Certificate can be amended
whenever it is necessary, in case of restrictions violation certificate might
All known pollution sources has to
regularly (monthly) submit reports on water polluting substance discharge to
EPA or equivalent regulatory body of state. Data content of reports and
certificates are open to public. To this end it is easy to audit by data
comparison and reveal regulations violation facts .
Latest instance demonstrates one more
important moment in AgencyТs activity, which applies the principles of
transparency. All information about organizationТs structure and activity, US law in environment protection, agencyТs science achievements are available at official
web-site http: // www.epa.gov. Planning information, budget
information and EPA activity results on public access, has special practical
Overall, EPA functions in the US for 46 years, and during its long-lasting activity it did not go through any reorganization
and did not change its legal status, unlike Kazakhstani analogue, environmental
Ministry that was reorganized.
Moreover, at the begging, in 1970 the EPAТs
budget was equal to over one billion USD, and 4 084 employees. For comparison
here is a reference to organizationТs budget for 2016 Ц 8 139 887 000 USD, and
15 376 employees . As seen, AgencyТs staff amount for the whole functioning
period has grown for almost 4 times, and the budget has risen 8 times. In other
words, environmental agency is rapidly growing, that proves organizationТs
vital capacity. It appears, that deeper analysis of AgencyТs activity is to be
interesting for the Republic of Kazakhstan, especially at the fore front of
EXPO 2017 under the slogan УFuture EnergyФ, which covers one of the most
relevant topics Ц alternative energy sources.
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5. Unated States Environmental Protection Agency // http: // en.wikipedia.org/
6. Лютягина Е.А. Об органах публичной администрации в сфере природопользования и охраны окружающей среды за рубежом // http: // cyberleninka. ru / article/n/.
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №8 - 2016