Rabat – The Ministry of Energy, Mining, Water, and Environment organized a ceremony to launch the environmental police on Thursday, 23 February in Rabat.The ceremony, which was led by Hakima El Haite, the Minister Delegate in Charge of the Environment, will involve the handing over of environmental inspector’s cards and the presentation of technical monitoring equipment and vehicles for the environmental police.The creation of regional environmental brigades to protect against environmental damage was first announced in September 2013 by the General Directorate of National Security. The missions of the environmental police, set by Decree No. 2-14-782 of 30 on May 19, 2015, include the raising of awareness of environmental issues and the inspection, research, investigation, verbalization and detection of environmental infringements.The offenses that the environmental brigades will police are as numerous as its mission: deposits of waste on private or public land, possession obsolete products or contraband drugs, transport of dangerous goods without authorization.Offenders may face fines ranging from MAD 100 to MAD 2 million as well as possible imprisonment. Once the infringement has been established by the environmental inspector, this latter is responsible for determining the seriousness of the infringement and the penalty for the infringement.According to the decree, environmental police officers “perform their functions voluntarily, or at the request of the governmental environmental authority, or as part of a national environmental supervisory board set up for purpose of environment protection. “The national control plan in particular aims to identify “sectors and industries, environmental activities, which must be submitted as a priority to environmental control,” adding that an annual report should be sent to the Head of Government.Since November 2013, a brigade of 14 environmental police elements have been deployed in Casablanca, Rabat and Mohammedia. From January to July 2014, 414 offense tickets were registered.