New draft Environmental Assessment Act

The new law ensures a high level of environmental protection and strengthens its preventive nature, unifying in a standard environmental assessment laws.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment presented the Draft Environmental Assessment Act.
The Draft Environmental Assessment Act aims to ensure a high level of environmental protection through prevention. In addition, a standard unifies the strategic environmental assessment laws and environmental impact assessment and determine more precisely the paperwork.

This Draft is intended to address the shortcomings of the current model and provides, in accordance with EU directives, which are subject to environmental assessment of plans, programs or projects that may have significant effects on the environment. In this sense, states that the assessment is especially guarantor in the case of projects for which significant impacts are anticipated, but more agile and less expensive for initiatives with a lower environmental impact.

Among other measures, the standard specifies that no decision of the environmental agency within the legally established in any case can be seen as a favorable environmental assessment. It also requires a higher quality studies and documents which must be pronounced environmental agencies.


From the point of view of the proceedings, the Draft adjusts processing times, especially in the environmental impact assessment, and establishes a period of between 4 and 6 months, avoiding delays difficult to justify from the point of view environment. The current average resolution of projects subject to the full procedure of environmental impact assessment is at 3.4 years.
The rule is intended, therefore, to solve the problems identified in the field of environmental assessment, as currently there are about 10,000 cases pending resolution in all administrations.
The future law, while ensuring a high level of environmental protection, will have positive effects on growth and employment, as adjusted track procedures to the new deadlines will encourage investment and to simplify administrative procedures, will also promote the generation of jobs.
In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment estimates that have an impact on the economic activity of 1,000 million euros and will create about 80,000 jobs.

In line with the proposed draft law submitted by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in the Council of Ministers on March 1st (currently before Parliament), the future law will evaluate all projects that require the use of techniques hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" to extract hidrocarburos.Hasta now, this technique was not specifically regulated by law.
Another innovation introduced in the standard is that it integrates the study of the effects of climate change projects and banks creating nature conservation, a new marketing tool to compensate, repair or restore the net losses natural values.

The Draft hoyestablece presented a detailed environmental regulation enforcement procedures in the field of General Administration, while the regions that decide to establish their own regulations must respect the basic principles contained in the new law
To this end, the Environment Sector Conference will assume the role as a forum for the proposal and discussion of legislative reforms necessary for adapting to future regional regulations Environmental Assessment Act.
Finally, it also promotes new technologies and citizen access to eGovernment and in the area of ​​participation, promotes the public information process to citizens, all aimed, ultimately, to join efforts for effective protection environment.



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