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Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures

On 24th July 2013 in Brussels, the Directorates-General for Energy and for Environment presented to the Member States, environmental NGOs and other relevant stakeholders the Guidance document on Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures required by the new Regulation (No 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council) for trans-European energy infrastructure.

Moreover, in the meeting other Guidance documents were presented concerning environmental assessments of infrastructure projects as well as a case-study of the LitPol link project and recommendations for efficient environmental assessment procedures.

The Guidance document on Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures was jointly drawn up by the Directorates-General for Energy and for the Environment taking into account valuable input and comments from Member States, environmental NGOs, TSOs and other stakeholders expressed in and following the two workshops held, in Brussels, on 3rd and 7th May respectively.

As set out in Article 7(4) of the new TEN-E Regulation, the purpose of this Guidance document is to support Member States in defining adequate legislative and non-legislative measures to streamline environmental assessment procedures and to ensure a coherent application of environmental assessment procedures required under Union law for Projects of Common Interest. The recommendations set out in this document are based on, but go beyond, the implementation experience and the good practices identified in the Member States so far.

The six main recommendations are:

  1. Early planning, "roadmapping" and scoping of assessments
  2. Early and effective integration of environmental assessments and of other environmental requirements
  3. Procedural co-ordination and time limits
  4. Data collection, data sharing and quality control
  5. Cross-border co-operation, and
  6. Early and effective public participation.

Member States now have to assess and take streamlining measures as appropriate. Legislative measures should be defined within 24 months and non-legislative measures within 9 months of the date of issue of the Guidance.