Scotland and Wales move ahead with amending EIA

1st September 2016

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Mark Pullinger

The Scottish and Welsh governments are pressing ahead with consultations on transposing the amended Environmental Impact Assessment Directive into national legislation.

The UK remains obligated to implement directives until it has formally left the EU. The deadline for transposing the amended EIA directive is May 2017. The communities department (DCLG) had yet to publish its proposals for England when the environmentalist went to press.

The consultation had been expected before the summer, but the Brexit vote delayed publication. Ministers must approve consultations before they are published but DCLG has a new ministerial team, now led by former business secretary Sajid Javid. A spokesperson said: ‘We will announce the [EIA] consultation in due course.’

Simon Colvin, partner and head of environment at law firm Weightmans, said the government would have to decide on its approach to new laws and directives post-Brexit. ‘There must be some transitional arrangement, with a cut-off date, otherwise you might implement it and then have to repeal it,’ he said.

Many other EU directives are awaiting tranposition by the UK government. These include the following from Defra:

  • 2013/51/EURATOM, which sets requirements for the protection of the health of the public from radioactive substances in water intended for human consumption;
  • 2015/1127, which amends Annex II to Directive 2008/98/EC on waste;
  • 2015/1480, which amends rules on assessing air quality;
  • 2014/99/EU on amending 2009/126/EC on stage II petrol vapour recovery at service stations; and
  • 2015/2193 on the limitation of emissions of specific pollutants into the air from medium-size combustion plants.

A list of directives relating to energy and climate that are awaiting transposition includes directive 2013/30/EU, which concerns the safety of offshore oil and gas operations.


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