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Conclusions on the environmental impact assessment cannot yet be issued, – EBA

25/ 07/ 2020
  The European Business Association is concerned about the situation with obtaining Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in connection with the quarantine measures. Despite the law On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine On Environmental Impact Assessment adopted on June 18 to prevent the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the business is still unable to carry out its activities because the conclusions of the environmental impact assessment are not issued. Given the situation, for five months companies could have not launched investment activities for the planned projects and are forced to postpone the scheduled modernization and reconstruction activities. Besides, they cannot obtain other permit documents. The EBA experts note that this situation hampers the creation of new jobs, negatively affects the attraction of new investments and reduces revenues to the state budget of Ukraine. All these factors constitute a significant threat to economic security, especially in an unstable economic situation caused, inter alia, by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the business community calls on the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine to urgently resolve this issue, as a result of which more than fifty companies have to postpone their investment projects, and suffer huge financial and reputational losses in the eyes of domestic and international stakeholders. We hope for a prompt response from the Ministry in the form of an official clarification on the practical implementation of the above-mentioned Law to resume the issuance of EIA conclusions. It will be recalled that in accordance with the Law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine“ On Environmental Impact Assessment ”to prevent the occurrence and spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”, public hearings on the EIA process, which were scheduled for the quarantine period, are considered as the ones that did not take place and shall not be rescheduled. Therefore, companies that are just entering the stage of public discussions have the right to use the option, which has not yet been implemented by the Ministry in practice. At the same time, companies, that started a public discussion of EIA reports before or after the introduction of quarantine restrictions, found themselves in a precarious position. However, the companies complied with all the requirements set by the current Law of Ukraine On Environmental Impact Assessment No.2059 as they submitted to the EIA Register notices of planned activities, announcements of public discussion with the date of public hearings, report on environmental impact assessment environment, received suggestions and comments from the public and provided answers within the period prescribed by law. Thus, it is expedient to consider public discussions as having taken place if the announcement of the beginning of the public discussion of the EIA report was published before or after the introduction of quarantine measures by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the period ended before the amendments to Law No.2059-VIII, introduced by Law No.733IX.  

The European Business Association is concerned about the situation with obtaining Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in connection with the quarantine measures.

Despite the law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine” On Environmental Impact Assessment “adopted on June 18 to prevent the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”, the business is still unable to carry out its activities because the conclusions of the environmental impact assessment are not issued.

Given the situation, for five months companies could have not launched investment activities for the planned projects and are forced to postpone the scheduled modernization and reconstruction activities. Besides, they cannot obtain other permit documents. The EBA experts note that this situation hampers the creation of new jobs, negatively affects the attraction of new investments and reduces revenues to the state budget of Ukraine. All these factors constitute a significant threat to economic security, especially in an unstable economic situation caused, inter alia, by the coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, the business community calls on the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine to urgently resolve this issue, as a result of which more than fifty companies have to postpone their investment projects, and suffer huge financial and reputational losses in the eyes of domestic and international stakeholders. We hope for a prompt response from the Ministry in the form of an official clarification on the practical implementation of the above-mentioned Law to resume the issuance of EIA conclusions.

It will be recalled that in accordance with the Law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine“ On Environmental Impact Assessment ”to prevent the occurrence and spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”, public hearings on the EIA process, which were scheduled for the quarantine period, are considered as the ones that did not take place and shall not be rescheduled.

Therefore, companies that are just entering the stage of public discussions have the right to use the option, which has not yet been implemented by the Ministry in practice. At the same time, companies, that started a public discussion of EIA reports before or after the introduction of quarantine restrictions, found themselves in a precarious position.

However, the companies complied with all the requirements set by the current Law of Ukraine “On Environmental Impact Assessment” No.2059 as they submitted to the EIA Register notices of planned activities, announcements of public discussion with the date of public hearings, report on environmental impact assessment environment, received suggestions and comments from the public and provided answers within the period prescribed by law. Thus, it is expedient to consider public discussions as having taken place if the announcement of the beginning of the public discussion of the EIA report was published before or after the introduction of quarantine measures by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the period ended before the amendments to Law No.2059-VIII, introduced by Law No.733IX.

 

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