Ulaanbaatar, May 3, 2019 – The Mongolian Parliament approved a revised Water Pollution Fee Law based on a Polluter Pays model developed under 2030 WRG’s national multi-stakeholder platform. The 2030 WRG team began work with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, private and civil society stakeholders to address issues in the legal framework for water pollution fees that had eluded implementation for over five years, largely due to an overly complex model for estimating pollution charges in а context of limited technical and implementation capacity. The 2030 WRG presented best practices, highlighting water pollution fee models which incorporated economic incentives for pollution reduction; and risk-based monitoring. Following this, а preferred model for water pollution charges was identified and contextualized for the country under 2030 WRG’s multi-stakeholder platform, using Ulaanbaatar as а pilot case.
Extensive analysis of data on effluent discharge and revenue requirement for adequate wastewater treatment in Ulaanbaatar were undertaken to support а proposed structure of fees. This was discussed and agreed with private sector, along with measures to incentivize improvements in effluent quality. Further, the information disclosure requirements and basis for estimation of pollution fees payable were embedded in а revised license and discharge permit for water and wastewater, applicable to all consumers in the city. The charges and incentives are expected to lead to а reduction in pollution loads in effluents discharged by highly polluting activities. This will not only enhance the effectiveness of treatment processes at the city’s central wastewater treatment plant; but the revenues accruing from fees will also provide adequate funds for operational expenses of the treatment plant, leading to the avoidance of discharge of over 61.2 million cubic meters of inadequately treated effluent into the Tuul river.