Environmental impact assessment – one more step towards Europe. – Ecoclub Rivne is an environmental NGO

Environmental impact assessment – one more step towards Europe.

The Ukrainian Parliament has recently registered the Draft Law “On environmental impact assessment”. The main aim of this law is to implement a European approach in Ukraine toward the evaluation of the environmental impact of dangerous installations, in order to avoid harm to the lives and health of Ukrainians and the destruction of the natural environment.

The draft law was developed with the participation of public experts within the framework of Emergency Reform Package and is an important step towards the fulfillment of Ukraine’s obligations under the terms of the Association agreement. At the present time Ukraine is the only European country where a complete environmental impact assessment(EIA) procedure is lacking. On the basis of the 2011 enactment of the Law of Ukraine “On regulations for city planning” projects of facilities even as dangerous as NPP could be built without taking into consideration the opinions of the agency concerned with that (the Ministry of the Environment) or the general public.

Andriy Shevchenko, a member of the national parliament, stated that, “The law “On EIA” is in compliance with the current external obligations of Ukraine in the context of EU integration. The adoption of the law will create a European EIA procedure and will ensure the definition of conditions essential for safe implementation of projects having environmental implications, will increase the decision-making transparency, will prevent corruption involving EIA procedures and will guarantee the consideration of public opinion”.   

 The adoption of the law will make possible an implementation of transparent procedures which obliges the Ministry of the Environment to provide a public record of all evaluation materials, ensures public hearings regarding these materials, and prepares the conclusion of an EIA. The openness of the procedure and non-permissive principle will prevent emergence of corruption related to the procedure. In addition, this law ensures an appropriate public participation in accordance with rules of the Aarhus Convention as well as the protection and consideration of the interests of all stakeholders—the public, government and business. Finally, the protection of an environment from unjustifiable destructive or invasive operations will be achieved.

 Yuriy Urbansky, the executive director of National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, commented that, “In implementing reforms in Ukraine it is not beneficial to forget about environmental protection, because our descendants will measure our success not only in terms of economic growth but also in terms of the environmental untaintedness of the country they inherit. Thanks to the cooperation of public experts who possess practical experience and are confronted daily with the deficiencies of national environmental legislation, the Draft Law has been submitted and is designed to bring us into line with European standards. When we have implemented a transparent EIA procedure regarding dangerous installations or operations, and have created a tool for effective public oversight, we will be promoting economic development in Ukraine which is environmentally safe.”

The adoption of a European approach to the EIA will bring about the fulfillment of some of Ukraine’s international obligations in particular as well as the requirements of European Energy Community and of an Association agreement insofar as relevant to the implementation of the Directive 2011/92/EU.

Environmental NGOs, in cooperation with the Emergency Reform Package initiative, will launch an active public campaign to support this Draft Law.

For more detailed information, contact:

Andriy Skipalskiy, coordinator of the Emergency Reform Package: skipalsky@gmail.com, tel. +380 (50) 312 39 74
Yuriy Urbanskiy, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU): urbik@necu.org.ua, tel. +380 (50) 512 32 22
Oksana Maiboroda, Ecoclub: oksana.maiboroda@gmail.com, tel. +380 (50) 697 81 18
Andriy Andrusevych, “Society and the Environment” Resource and Analysis Centre: office@rac.org.ua, andriy.andrusevych@rac.org.ua