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Environmental regulator, Ukraine

In 1997, the Ukraine was facing many difficulties in enforcing environmental law and in particular where hazardous waste was concerned. This was partly due to the lack of any centralised system for recording and updating information relating to environmental pollution and waste facilities. ASK helped develop and pilot the country’s first modern environmental information system with the aim of improving control of environmentally hazardous activities.

The case:
A collaboration between ASK and the Dutch consultancy DHV, the project was funded by the EU’s Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) programme. At the time, the Ukraine’s State Environmental Inspectorate (SEI) had 47 laboratories and a staff of 2,000 nationwide, but no easy way of sharing information between regions. Computer facilities and skills were lacking in most departments.

ASK’s involvement:
ASK worked to determine the most cost-effective solution for the Inspectorate in developing a new environmental information system. This involved undertaking a wide ranging survey of available equipment and staff capabilities within the organisation. We also researched existing information systems in the UK, Denmark and US.

The result:
Having decided that a system based on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s centralised database would be most suitable and simple for staff to maintain, ASK and DHV prepared a development plan for the new database system. We liaised between the SEI and local software developers to create and install a pilot system at the Inspectorate’s offices in Kiev, and provided training for staff in its use. In the first instance, the system was designed to focus on waste treatment and disposal, and act as a register for major hazard facilities. However, we also provided detailed recommendations for future developments to encompass data on air and water pollution.

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