The new Environmental and Planning Act will fundamentally change the system of environmental law. The new Act itself offers few substantive standards, and primarily serves as a basis for the following four additional decrees: het Omgevingsbesluit (an environmental and planning decree); het Besluit kwaliteit leefomgeving (a decree on the quality of the living environment); het Besluit activiteiten leefomgeving (a decree on activities in the living environment); and het Besluit bouwwerken leefomgeving (a decree on buildings in the living environment).
The four decrees will to a great extent determine the content of the new environmental law. The draft decrees are open for public consultation until 16 September 2016. This means that now is the time for exerting real influence on the material standards in the new environmental law system.
The four Decree's regulate the following subjects:
- the environmental and planning decree includes rules on environmental impact assessment, recovery of costs and financial security.
- the decree on the quality of the living environment contains the substantive standards for both local and central governments.
- the decree on activities in the living environment gives rules for the activities of citizens, companies and governments in the physical living environment. This decree regulates, for example, in which situations a licence is required.
- finally, the decree on buildings in the living environment regulates building activities.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.