Latvijas Republikas Ģērbonis
  

Environment State Bureau

Latviešu versija

Environmental Impact Assesment

 
Strategic environmental impact assessment

Since 1 May 2004 Latvia had started environmental impact assessment of the plans and programmes (so called strategic environmental impact assessment), in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment. Its purpose is to assess possible environmental impacts of the implementation of plans and programmes, to involve the public in the discussion and decision making, and to develop proposals for the prevention or minimisation of possible adverse effects of these plans and programmes. Strategic environmental impact assessment shall be carried out during the preparation of plans and programmes, and before their adoption or submission for the adoption procedure.

Strategic environmental impact assessment shall be carried out for plans and programmes, which may have significant impact on human health and the environment, including plans and programmes, which are prepared for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste management, water management, telecommunications, tourism, mining, as well as regional development, land use, town and country planning, including those co-financed by the European Community. Strategic environmental impact assessment shall not be applied to the plans and programmes related to national defence or civil emergency and to the financial and budget plans and programmes.

The Law on Environmental Iimpact Assessment defines procedure for the strategic environmental impact assessment. The State Environmental Bureau is a national competent authority, which supervises strategic environmental impact assessment, i.e., the Bureau:

  • Decides whether strategic environmental impact assessment shall be carried out for the given document,
  • Designates authorities, where the applicant shall send a draft plan or programme and an environmental report for comments and consent,
  • Defines the procedure for public consultations,
  • Defines the procedure for transboundary consultations,
  • Defines monitoring of the plan or programme.

Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No 157 of 23 March 2004 “Procedures for strategic environmental impact assessment” detail the procedures for strategic environmental impact assessment and define competences and responsibilities of all involved parties.

Strategic environmental impact assessment shall be implemented step by step. It shall be carried out for those plans and programmes, which may have significant impact on Natura 2000 territories and which are adopted after 1 May 2004. Strategic environmental impact assessment shall not be carried out for those plans and programmes, which preparation was determined by the legislation before 21 July 2004 or which preparation was started before 21 July 2004, if the developer has informed in written the State Environmental Bureau about the preparation of this plan or programme before 21 July 2004 and if this document would be approved before 21 July 2006. However, these exceptions shall not apply if the State Environmental Bureau decides that strategic environmental impact assessment shall be carried out, basing its decision on the criteria for determining the likely significance of environmental effects and on the development status of the given plan or programme.

The State Environmental Bureau evaluates the applications considering the criteria defined by the legislation and decides, whether strategic environmental impact assessment shall be carried out. Strategic environmental impact assessment will ensure that the developers of various plans and programs (developments plans of the national economy and its branches, strategies, spatial development plans etc.) will considered possible environmental impacts of these plans and programmes and will provide a draft plan or programme and the environmental report to the public, so that the public may express its opinion on the draft.

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Last update: 15.03.2010
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