09ASTANA11, KAZAKHSTAN: MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT UNDERSTAFFED AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09ASTANA11 2009-01-06 09:58 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0407
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNEH RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #0011/01 0060958
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 060958Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4266
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 1003
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0402
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1108
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0574
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0477
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 1063

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000011 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB/ESC, OES/PCI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL SENV KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT UNDERSTAFFED AND 
OVERWORKED 
 
ASTANA 00000011  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified.  Not for public Internet. 
 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Ministry of Environmental Protection has been 
restructured, but faces a shortage of inspectors who inspect 
enterprises to ensure they comply with emissions regulations. 
Because it takes too long to get the Procurator General's permission 
to conduct random environmental inspections, inspectors have 
difficulty finding evidence that an enterprise is violating 
emissions standards.  Kazakhstan will adopt Euro-3 emission 
standards in 2009.  A proposed draft law to ban the import of 
outdated equipment and technology also stipulates that all gas 
stations will have to sell unleaded gasoline.  END SUMMARY. 
 
MINISTRY OF PROTECTION FACES SHORTAGE OF INSPECTORS 
 
3. (SBU) In a December meeting with the Regional Environmental 
Officer (REO), Senior State Inspector Bizara Dosmakova of the 
Ministry of Environmental Protection's Committee on Environmental 
Regulation and Control explained that her Committee is responsible 
for implementing and overseeing the Ministry's environmental 
policies.  Dosmakova said the Committee issues emissions permits and 
licenses to use natural resources and also conducts random 
environmental inspections.  She said the Ministry will transfer some 
of its tasks, such as the issuance of licenses, to local governments 
in 2009 and the Ministry will then focus on policy-making rather 
than regulatory functions. 
 
4. (SBU) Dosmakova said the Committee now faces a severe shortage of 
state environmental inspectors and currently has only 525 inspectors 
to cover the entire country.  (NOTE: Kazakhstan is the world's ninth 
largest country by area. END NOTE.)  Dosmakova confessed that the 
Ministry's recent reorganization created a less efficient structure, 
combining the previous 14 oblast divisions and two municipal 
divisions (Almaty and Astana) into nine larger administrative units. 
 Now, she said, applicants from Petropavlovsk (Kazakhstan's 
northernmost city) have to come to Astana to submit their 
applications for permits and licenses. 
 
DIFFICULT TO CATCH VIOLATORS RED-HANDED 
 
5. (SBU) Dosmakova said the Committee conducts regular annual 
inspections of "large" enterprises (she said there are only 24 such 
enterprises in Kazakhstan).  Small- and medium-sized businesses are 
exempt from all inspections for the first year of operation.  In 
addition to regular inspections, the Committee can conduct random 
inspections at the request of people living close to allegedly 
polluting enterprises.  However, random inspections require 
permission from the Procurator General's Office -- permission which 
can take significant time, sometimes weeks, to obtain.  As a result, 
she said, inspectors often arrive on the scene too late to find any 
evidence of unauthorized emissions.  The enterprises either remove 
all waste residue and contaminants, or they temporarily cease 
production so that water and air pollution levels return to normal. 
 
KAZAKHSTAN TO ADOPT EURO-3 EMISSIONS STANDARDS 
 
6. (SBU) According to Dosmakova, Kazakhstan will start applying 
Euro-3 emissions standards in 2009, skipping the Euro-2 phase 
altogether.  (NOTE:  Europe implemented its Euro-4 standards in 
January 2005, with Euro-5 slated to come into effect in January 
2009.  Euro-3 standards took effect on January 2000.  Bypassing the 
Euro-2 phase means Kazakhstan is willing to progress faster towards 
lower emissions than earlier agreed.  END NOTE.)  Dosmakova was not 
sure whether the new draft law to ban the import of outdated 
equipment and technologies would also include used cars.  (NOTE: 
Press reporting indicates that it will not cover used cars, the 
importation of which is a lucrative business in Kazakhstan.  END 
NOTE.)  One of the proposed law's main challenges according to 
Dosmakova is the lack of means to get rid of older equipment and 
technologies.  Also, under the new law, all gas stations will have 
to sell unleaded gasoline.  (NOTE:  Most large urban gas stations 
already sell unleaded fuel.  END NOTE.) 
 
 
ASTANA 00000011  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
7. (SBU) COMMENT: We have no reason to doubt Dosmakova's description 
of the travails of her federal-level ministry.  It is worth noting, 
however, that oblast-level officials seem to have adequate resources 
to harass and fine international corporate investors, especi
ally in 
the energy sphere, for alleged environmental violations.  END 
COMMENT. 
 
HOAGLAND

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