A time limit of one year has been introduced for the additional period which can be granted to project owners in Turkey to rectify failures to fulfill requirements and undertakings under the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") process. Also, an ongoing review requirement is introduced for organizations authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning who must now provide an update report at certain interval regarding the status of certain projects. The Regulation Amending the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment ("Amendment Regulation") was published in Official Gazette number 29619 on 9 February 2016, entering into force on the same date.
Significant changes introduced by the Amendment Regulation include:
- If the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning ("Ministry") finds that a project owner does not fulfill its requirements under the EIA Report or Project Identification File upon obtaining an "affirmative EIA report" or receiving an "EIA is not required" decision, the Ministry can grant additional time to fulfill these requirements. The Amendment Regulation limits this period to one year maximum. Only one such extension is permitted. If undertakings are not fulfilled within the additional time, the investment will be ceased.
- The definition of "organizations authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning" has changed. At certain intervals, these organizations must review the compliance of the project owners with their obligations under their "affirmative EIA report" and inform the Ministry about the developments in the projects within their construction period.
- Related municipalities and headmen will make loudspeaker announcements about the EIA process for prospective projects at the place(s) where the potentially affected persons live.
- A written announcement about a prospective project's EIA process must be put on the wall of the building of the related municipality, headman or village council, located at the place(s) where the persons which will/might be affected by such project.
- The Article 24(1)(f) in relation to capacity increases has been cancelled. A new Article 27/A has been introduced. The new article states that a communiqué will be issued to determine procedures and principles in relation to extensions and capacity increases for projects which have been granted an affirmative EIA report or received an "EIA is not required" decision.
Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).
Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.
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