Proposal for a COUNCIL DIRECTIVE on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment
/* COM/96/0511 final - SYN 96/0304 */
OJ C 129, 25.4.1997, p. 14–18 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
DA DE EL EN ES FI FR IT NL PT SV
|Bilingual display: DA DE EL EN ES FI FR IT NL PT SV|
Proposal for a Council Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (97/C 129/08) (Text with EEA relevance) COM(96) 511 final - 96/0304(SYN)
(Submitted by the Commission on 25 March 1997)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 130s (1) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee,
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions,
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 189c of the Treaty in cooperation with the European Parliament,
Whereas Article 130r of the Treaty provides that Community policy on the environment is to contribute to the preservation, protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, the protection of human health and the prudent and rational utilization of natural resources and that it should be based on the precautionary principle; whereas that necessitates, inter alia, the proper integration of environmental considerations into the plans and programmes which are adopted within Member States as part of the town and country planning decision-making process for the purpose of establishing the framework for subsequent development consents (in particular those to which Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (1) applies);
Whereas this Directive aims at a high level of protection of the environment through the attainment of the objectives provided for in Article 130r (1) of the Treaty and is of a procedural nature, setting out an environmental assessment procedure to be followed by the competent authority before the final decision is taken in relation to plans and programmes likely to have an environmental impact;
Whereas environmental assessment is an important tool in integrating environmental considerations into such plans and programmes because it ensures that the relevant authorities take account of the likely environmental effects of implementing plans and programmes prior to their adoption;
Whereas the European Community programme of policy and action in relation to the environment and sustainable development (2) affirms the importance of assessing the likely environmental effects of plans and programmes;
Whereas the different environmental assessment systems operating within Member States are deficient because they do not cover all of the core plans and programmes which establish the framework for subsequent development consent decisions and because they do not always contain the minimum procedural requirements necessary to ensure a high level of protection of the environment;
Whereas, in particular, the systems operating within the Community for environmental assessment of plans and programmes do not ensure that there are adequate transboundary consultations where the implementation of a plan or programme being prepared in one Member State is likely to have a significant effect on the environment of another Member State;
Whereas action is therefore required at Community level to establish a general environmental assessment framework which will remedy these deficiencies and thereby contribute to the pursuit of the environmental objectives set out in the Treaty;
Whereas, having regard to the principle of subsidiarity and in order to ensure the requisite uniformity and transparency, it is appropriate that this Directive sets out the broad principles of the environmental assessment system, leaving the procedural details to the Member States;
Whereas the plans and programmes which should be assessed under this Directive are those plans and programmes which are adopted as part of the town and country planning decision-making process for the purpose of establishing the framework for subsequent development consents, including strategic plans and programmes adopted in the energy, waste, water, industry (including mineral extraction), telecommunication and tourism sectors, and certain transport infrastructure plans and programmes;
Whereas such plans and programmes are adopted under two types of procedure and this Directive should apply to plans and programmes adopted under both procedures, namely to plans and programmes adopted by competent authorities, in which case the assessment should be carried out before the relevant competent authority adopts the plan or programme, and to plans and programmes which are subject to adoption by an act of legislation, in which case the assessment should be carried out before the plan or programme is submitted to the legislative procedure;
Whereas, where an assessment is required by this Directive, it should be carried out on the basis of an environmental statement containing the information required, taking account of the stage of the plan or programme in the decision-making process to assess the likely significant environmental effects of implementing the plan or programme;
Whereas in order to ensure that the decision-making process is transparent and that the information supplied for the assessment is comprehensive and reliable, it is necessary to provide that authorities and/or bodies with relevant environmental responsibilities and the public are to be consulted during the assessment of plans and programmes;
Whereas, where the implementation of a plan or programme prepared in one Member State is likely to have a significant effect on the environment of other Member States, provision should be made for the Member States concerned to enter into consultations;
Whereas the results of the assessment should be taken into account by the competent authority before it adopts the plan or programme or submits it to the legislative procedure, on the understanding that the power of assessment and final decision remain within the sole competence of this authority;
Whereas the application and effectiveness of this Directive should be reviewed seven years after its entry into force,
HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
The objective of this Directive is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment by ensuring that an environmental assessment is carried out of certain plans and programmes and that the results of the assessment are taken into account during the preparation and adoption of such plans and programmes.
For the purposes of this Directive:
(a) 'plan` and 'programme`:
(i) refer only to town and country planning plans and programmes:
- which are subject to preparation and adoption by a competent authority or which are prepared by a competent authority for adoption by a legislative act, and
- which are part of the town and country planning decision-making process for the purpose of establishing the framework for subsequent development consents, and
- which contain provisions on the nature, size, location or operating conditions of projects;
(ii) include modifications of existing plans and programmes as described in point (i).
This definition includes town and country planning plans and programmes in sectors such as transport (including transport corridors, port facilities and airports), energy, waste management, water resource management, industry (including extraction of mineral resources), telecommunications and tourism;
(b) 'competent authority` means the authority which the Member States designate as responsible for performing the duties arising from this Directive;
(c) 'development consent` means the decision of the competent authority which entitles the developer to proceed with a project;
(d) 'project` means:
- the execution of construction works or of other installations or schemes,
- other interventions in the natural surroundings and landscape including those involving the extraction of mineral resources;
e) 'environmental assessment` means the preparation of an environmental statement, the carrying out of consultations and the taking into account of the environmental statement and the results of the consultations in accordance with Articles 5 to 8.
The requirements of this Directive shall either be integrated into existing procedures in Member States for the adoption or submission to the legislative procedure of plans and programmes or incorporated in procedures established to comply with this Directive.
1. An environmental assessment, in accordance with Articles 5 to 8, shall be carried out before the adoption or the submission to the legislative procedure by the competent authority of a plan or programme.
2. The obligation referred to in paragraph 1 shall apply only to the plans and programmes of which the first formal preparatory act is subsequent to the date referred to in Article 12 (1).
3. Minor modifications of existing plans and programmes shall require an environmental assessment only where the Member States consider that such modifications are likely to have significant negative environmental effects.
4. Plans or programmes which determine the particular use of small areas at local level shall require an environmental assessment only where the Member States consider that they are likely to have significant negative environmental effects.
1. Where an environmental assessment is required under Article 4, the competent authority shall prepare an environmental statement containing the types of information referred to in the Annex.
2. The information included in the environmental statement prepared pursuant to paragraph 1 shall be in such detail as may reasonably be required for the purpose of assessing the significant direct and indirect effects of implementing the plan or programme on human beings, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climate, landscape, material assets and the cultural heritage, taking into account the level of detail in the plan or programme, its stage in the decision-making process and the extent to which certain matters can be more appropriately assessed at different levels in that process.
3. The competent authority shall consult the environmental authorities and/or bodies concerned as referred to in Article 6 (3) when deciding on the scope and level of detail of the information which must be included in the environmental statement.
4. The environmental statement shall include a non-technical summary of the information contained in it.
1. A copy of the draft plan or programme and of the environmental statement prepared in accordance with Article 5 shall be made available to the environmental authorities and/or bodies concerned and the public concerned.
2. The environmental authorities and/or bodies concerned and the public concerned shall be given an opportunity to express their opinion on the draft plan or programme and the accompanying environmental statement before the adoption or submission to the legislative procedure of the plan or programme.
3. Member States shall designate the authorities and/or bodies to be consulted which, by reason of their specific environmental responsibilities, are likely to be concerned by the environmental effects of implementing plans and programmes.
4. Member States shall designate the public to be consulted taking into account the stage of the plan or programme in the decision-making process.
5. The detailed arrangements for the information and consultation of the environmental authorities and/or bodies concerned and the public concerned shall be determined by the Member States.
1. Where a Member State considers that the implementation of a plan or programme being prepared in relation to its territory is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another Member State, or where a Member State likely to be significantly affected so requests, the Member State in whose territory the plan or programme is being prepared shall, before the adoption of the plan or programme or its submission to the legislative procedure by a competent authority, forward a copy of the draft plan or programme and the relevant environmental statement to the other Member State.
2. Where a Member State is sent a copy of a draft plan or programme and an environmental statement under paragraph 1, it shall indicate to the other Member State whether it wishes to enter into consultations prior to the adoption or submission to the legislative procedure of the plan or programme and, if it so indicates, the Member States concerned shall enter into consultations concerning the likely transboundary environmental effects of implementing the plan or programme and the measures envisaged to reduce or eliminate such effects.
3. Where Member States are required under this Article to enter into consultations, they shall agree, at the commencement of such consultations, on a reasonable timetable for the duration of the consultations.
The competent authority responsible for the adoption or submission to the legislative procedure of the plan or programme concerned shall take into consideration, prior to such adoption or submission, the environmental statement prepared pursuant to Article 5, any opinions expressed pursuant to Article 6 and the results of consultations entered into pursuant to Article 7. The competent authority may, in particular, make such alterations to the plan or programme as it considers appropriate on the basis of the environmental statement and any such opinions and consultations.
1. When a plan or programme is adopted, the competent authority shall inform the environmental authorities and/or bodies concerned, the public concerned and any Member State consulted under Article 7 and shall make available to those so informed:
(a) a copy of the plan or programme as adopted, and
(b) a statement of how the environmental statement prepared pursuant to Article 5, any opinions expressed pursuant to Article 6 and the results of consultations entered into pursuant to Article 7 have been taken into account in accordance with Article 8.
2. The detailed arrangements concerning the information referred to in paragraph 1 shall be determined by the Member States.
1. An environmental assessment carried out under this Directive is without prejudice to any requirements under Directive 85/337/EEC and to any other Community law requirements.
2. This Directive shall not apply to management plans specifically designed for special areas of conservation and adopted pursuant to Article 6 (1) of Council Directive 92/43/EEC (3).
3. No provision of this Directive shall give rise to a right to seek a judicial review in respect of a legislative act by which a plan or programme has been adopted.
1. The Member States and the Commission shall exchange information on the experience gained in applying this Directive.
2. Seven years after the entry into force of this Directive, the Commission shall send a report on the application and effectiveness of the Directive to the European Parliament and to the Council.
3. Where appropriate, in the light of the report referred to in paragraph 2, the Commission may submit to the Council a proposal containing amendments to this Directive.
1. Member States shall take the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions to comply with this Directive no later than 31 December 1999. Member States shall forthwith inform the Commission of the measures taken.
When Member States adopt these provisions, these shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such reference at the time of their official publication. The procedure for such reference shall be adopted by Member States.
2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the types of plans and programmes which they will submit to an environmental assessment pursuant to this Directive.
This Directive shall enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
(1) OJ No L 175, 5. 7. 1985, p. 40.
(2) OJ No C 138, 17. 5. 1993, p. 1.
(3) OJ No L 206, 22. 7. 1992, p. 7.
Information referred to in Article 5
Information on the following matters:
(a) the contents of the plan or programme and its main objectives;
(b) the environmental characteristics of any area likely to be significantly affected by the plan or programme;
(c) any existing environmental problems which are relevant to the plan or programme including, in particular, those relating to any areas of particular environmental importance, such as areas designated pursuant to Council Directives 79/409/EEC (1) and 92/43/EEC;
(d) the environmental protection objectives, established at international, Community and Member State level (including objectives established in other plans and programmes in the same hierarchy), which are relevant to the plan or programme and the way these objectives and any other environmental considerations have been taken into account during its preparation;
(e) the likely significant environmental effects of implementing the plan or programme;
(f) any alternative ways of achieving the objectives of the plan or programme which have been considered during its preparation (such as alternative types of development or alternative locations for development) and the reasons for not adopting these alternatives;
(g) the measures envisaged to prevent, reduce and where possible offset any significant adverse effects on the environment of implementing the plan or programme;
(h) any difficulties (such as technical deficiencies or lack of know-how) encountered in compiling the required information.
(1) OJ No L 103, 25. 4. 1979, p. 1.