Infrastructure Planning - Environmental Impact Assessments
These regulations consolidate the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations SI 2009/223 and also implement the provisions of Directive 2011/92/EU, on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.
What is the new legislation:
Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations SI 2017/572
Who does this affect: England, Wales, Scotland
When does this change take place: 16 May 2017
These new regulations set out the procedures to be followed in relation to environmental impact assessments linked to nationally significant infrastructure projects in England and Wales. They also extend for limited to purposes to Scotland.
The objective is to provide a high level of protection of the environment and to help integrate environmental considerations into the preparation of proposals for development to reduce their impact on the environment. The main changes are:
to the circumstances in which a project may be exempt from the EIA process;
to the introduction of co-ordinated procedures for projects which are also subject to assessment under Council Directive 92/43/EEC(4) on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora or Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conservation of Wild Birds(5);
to the list of environmental factors to be considered as part of the EIA process;
to the information to be provided to inform a screening decision and the criteria to be applied when making a screening decision;
to the way in which an environmental statement is to be prepared, including an amendment to the information to be included in it, the introduction of a requirement that it be based upon a scoping opinion (where one has been obtained) and a requirement that it be prepared by a competent expert;
to the means by which the public is to be informed of projects which are subject to the EIA process; and
the introduction of a requirement for decision-makers to avoid conflicts of interest.