Seimas rejects presidential veto on waste-to-energy plants

Seventy-one lawmakers of the ruling bloc voted in favor of leaving the law in force unchanged. Thirty-six opposition MPs voted against and six members of the Seimas abstained.

Seventy-one was the minimum number of votes needed to override the presidential veto.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis voted in favor of rejecting the veto, although his government back in February recommended that the Seimas should not adopt the amendments.

Conservative MP Mykolas Majauskas, a member of the parliament’s Committee on Budget and Finance, warned that the Seimas’ decision would lead to an increase in heating, electricity and waste prices.

He plans to turn to the Constitutional Court over the constitutionality of the law.

Grybauskaitė earlier this month sent the amendments back to the Seimas for improvement, saying the legislation imposes constraints on building new waste-to-energy plants in Lithuania without any reasonable environmental criteria and questions the future of facilities already under construction in the country.

According to the president, the ban envisaged in the bill on the construction of waste-to-energy facilities closer than 20 kilometers from residential areas is not based on any criteria and fails to ensure public health.

The state energy group Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy) is building a waste-to-energy in Vilnius, as well as a similar facility in Kaunas jointly with Fortum Heat Lietuva, which is part of Finland’s energy group Fortum. Fortum Heat Lietuva already operates a waste-to-energy plant in Klaipeda.

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