Concern over Environmental Impact Assessment revisions
By Sandy Guthrie22 November 2013
Concerns are being raised about the revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and amendments to it introduced at the European Parliament stage.
CEMBUREAU (the European Cement Association) said that the Non-Energy Extractive Industries Panel (NEEIP), of which it is a member, has raised several concerns regarding the revision of the EIA Directive and certain amendments introduced at parliamentary stage.
According to CEMBUREAU, since the publication of the proposal of the European Commission to revise the EIA Directive, the NEEIP has consistently called for streamlining the current EIA regime to achieve a clearer, more predictable and less costly legislation, meeting high environmental standards.
Nevertheless, the NEEIP said it was firmly opposed to proposals which disproportionately extended the scope of the EIA.
CEMBUREAU said that an example of this was that the NEEIP believed that the inclusion of exploration of mineral resources within the scope of the EIA would be disproportionate in the light of their low environmental impacts and because exploration involves large investments without any revenue generated.
The NEEIP has also expressed its concern regarding proposals which would have a negative impact on the consistency of the EIA Directive, proper definition of criteria and transposition, such as the inclusion of “visual impact” and subsoil.
In addition, CEMBUREAU said that the inclusion of ex-post monitoring requirements in the EIA Directive was inappropriate, as these requirements overlapped with other binding sectoral EU instruments such as the Industrial Emissions Directive, the Mining Waste Directive, and BAT (Best Available Technique) references.