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COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

 

The objective of a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is to prevent or at least to considerably reduce activities that may have important harmful effects or consequences on the environment and protected areas, thus realising the principles of sustainable development, integrity and prevention.
 
The procedure for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is defined in the Environmental Protection Act and is carried out for plans provided that:

  • they define or envisage an activity affecting the environment for which an environmental impact assessment needs to be carried out;
  • assessment of the acceptability of impacts on the protected areas according to the regulations governing nature conservation is required;
  • the responsible ministry estimates that their implementation could have an important effect on the environment.

 

In the procedure for comprehensive environmental impact assessment, the effects of the plan are evaluated on the basis of the environmental report. The procedure is conducted by the ministry responsible for the environment. It also includes cooperation between all national authorities within their ministries and organisations, as well as public information and participation. The participation of the public is governed by the Environmental Protection Act, which lays down a 30-day public presentation of the environmental report.

 
National authorities and local communities must, prior to the preparation of the plan and in the specified manner, inform the ministry responsible for the environment thereof. Non-compliance with legal obligations may result in invalidity of plans.

 

What are plans?

 

Plans shall mean all plans, programmes, spatial or other acts and their amendments that are adopted pursuant to these acts by competent national bodies or municipalities in the area of spatial planning, water management, forest management, hunting, agriculture, energy, industry, transport, waste and waste-water management, drinking-water supply, telecommunications and tourism if the plans define or envisage an activity affecting the environment for which an environmental impact assessment must be carried out or if they include part of a protected area or if the execution of the plan could have an effect in itself or in connection with other plans.

 
Determination of whether plans could have a significant impact on the environment is governed, in particular, by the provisions of the Decree on categories of projects for which an environmental impact assessment is mandatory (Uradni list RS (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia), Nos. 78/06 and 72/07, 32/09), defining the types of activities affecting the environment for which environmental protection assessment is mandatory and the types of activities affecting the environment for which environmental protection assessment is mandatory above the specific threshold.

 
Protected areas for which the effects of the plans are to be assessed are protected areas according to regulations related to nature conservation, including protection in national, regional and landscape parks, strict nature reserves, nature reserves and natural monuments along with all acts designating natural sites of special interest still in force. Moreover, protected areas also include Nature 2000 sites, including special protection areas and special areas of conservation stipulated in the Decree on special protection areas (Natura 2000 sites) (Uradni list RS, Nos. 49/04, 110/04, 59/07 and 43/08).

 
In accordance with the third paragraph of Article 40 of the Environmental Protection Act, comprehensive environmental protection assessment is carried out for plans that do not include activities affecting the environment for which environmental protection assessment is needed or do not include protected areas defined in regulations related to nature conservation if the responsible ministry estimates that their implementation might have a significant impact on the environment. The criteria for evaluating important effects on the environment are laid down in the Decree on criteria for determining the likely significance of environmental effects on certain plans, programmes or other acts and its modifications in the environmental assessment procedure (Uradni list RS, No. 9/09).

 

 

Objective of comprehensive environmental impact assessment

  

The objective of comprehensive environmental impact assessment is "to provide a high level of protection of the environment and to include environmental aspects in preparation and adoption of plans and programmes in order to promote sustainable development".

 

 

Additional information:

 

Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning

Environment Directorate
Vesna Kolar Planinšič MSc
Dunajska c. 47
1000 Ljubljana
tel.: 01/ 478 7329
fax: 01/ 478 7132
e-mail: vesna.kolar-planinsic(at)gov.si