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Pilsen Envrionmental Foundation


Plzeňská ekologická nadace
Ameriká 29, 301 38 Plzeň
telefon/fax: 019-7455905
e-mail: pen@iol.cz



Elaborated by: Jiří Dusík (REC)

Article 6

Public Participation in Decisions on Specific Activities

General Introduction

Article 6 does particularly deal with amendment of Act 244/92 on assessing the environment effects and the IPPC system introduction in the Czech Republic, which is under way. Regarding the fact that the IPPC legislation framework is missing in the Czech republic, the analysis has focused on the conformity of the objectives of the EIA bill drafted for the ministry of Environment by the STUŽ team conducted by Dr Martiš (hereinafter referred to as the EIA objective).

In general, it may be stated that the objectives of the new EIA act have been drafted in conformity with the requirements set in Aarhus Convention. However, it is very likely that partial adjustments are made in the course of interdepartmental proceedings and preparations of the initialled wording of the act. Therefore detailed measures to be taken in support of the Convention implementation are presented herein. The measures have been divided into three fundamental categories:


Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: These issues are addressed as due in Articles II.1, II.6 and Annexes 1 and 2 of the EIA Objective.

M: In order to elaborate a system of active selection of plans to be assessed under EIA, it will be necessary to develop general methodological procedures and practices enabling determination of "the significant effects on the environment", which will be the principal indicator for active screening.

P: In the Czech Republic, the system of active selection of plans to be assessed under EIA will be quite a new phenomenon. Consequently, adequate training programmes have to be developed, particularly for relevant authorities and, if the need be, also of NGO and any affected bodies of the public administration.

Par 2.

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: In general, the issues are addresses by Articles II.3, II.4 II.5 and Annex 3 of EIA Objective. The fundamental requirements stipulated in subsection 6.2 of the Convention include the procedure of giving a notice (The public concerned shall be informed, either by public notice or individually as appropriate… in an adequate, timely and affective manner) and the contents of the notice. The requirements of the notice contents set in Article 6.2 of the Convention will have to be coherently implanted in the requirements of notification of a plan as shown in Annex 3 of the EIA Objective. The requirements of the notification procedure should be included in a generally binding regulation (or in the methodology in a worse way) to provide for the public being informed in an adequate, timely and affective manner either by public notice or individually).

P: During the initial years of application of "quality notifying processes", it is most likely that competent authorities will have to provide consultations to individual investors (reporters) on developing orderly and complete notices. For this reason, a training programme on developing quality notices is recommendable to competent authorities, reporters or consultants in the area of EIA. The contents of the training programme may be conditional on supporting programmes related to Article 6.5 of the Convention (cf. below).

Par 3.

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: Timing and time frames are not an issue in the EIA Objective and it will be specified in the sectioned edition of the Act. Referring to discussion with EIA Objective study team, it may be stated that the requirements set in Article 6.3 of the Convention will be honoured as due.

M: -

P: -

Par. 4

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: These requirements comply with Articles II.5, II.6 and II.7 of EIA Objective.

M: This area is a priority for quality application of the new act on EIA and it will require that methodological and detailed procedure instructions are prepared to facilitate quality decisions on the scope. Setting a scope is yet an unknown and ignored area in the Czech republic and enforcing that will entail many procedural, methodological and competency uncertainties. Therefore, the Ministry of Environment should shortly start preparing methodological instructions on setting scopes and testing the instruction on selected pilot projects having agreed the same with the reporters.

P: Regarding the foreseen difficulties in practical implementation of Articles II.5, II.6 and II. 7 of EIA Objectives, all the parties involved in the EIA process are recommended to prepare extensive educational/training programmes.

Par. 5

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: Are addressed in Article II.4 of EIA Objective in an appropriate degree.

M: -

P: Supporting programmes in this area should focus on the reporters and their consultants and may be combined with the supporting programmes of the notice preparation (cf. recommendation on Article 6.2)

Par. 6

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: Annexes 3 and 4 of EIA Objective are in full conformity with these requirements.

M: -

P: These issues may be covered in an introductory training sessions for the main parties involved in the EIA process.

Par. 7

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: EIA Objective is in full conformity with these requirements

M: -

P: In addition to an introductory training on the new EIA system for non-government and non-profit organisations, there should be yet other supporting programmes available to facilitate actual participation of these organisations in EIA. The programmes should provide funds to sponsor the non-governmental and non-profit organisations´ participation in EIA, which will invariably be very demanding financially. (To launch an initial discussion on the type of this assistance, e.g. a model of continuous financial assistance to participation of NNO in EIA used in Canada may be applied.)

Par. 8

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: This is the second priority and it will require much attention. The right of fair and unbiased assessment of the comments may be ensured through independent bodies of appeal that will examine the complaints regarding any "inappropriate" account taken of the public’s comments (Similar complaints may be possibly submitted by other entities, particularly by the reporter and affected municipalities and they should be examined thoroughly, too). With reference to the fact that EIA is not subject to the code of administration (and it will not become subject to it as stipulated in the EIA Objective wording), it is possible to constitute special bodies of appeal within the EIA system. These issues are covered in Article II.12 of the EIA Objective in a satisfactory manner. According to the proposed system, objections should be heard by a regional or a ministerial committee and the appeals shall be heard by a special analysing committee of the Ministry of Environment. However, it is still questionable whether the proposed system of lodging objections and appeals is passed to advance in the paragraphed wording and the final edition of the act.

M: It is establishment of the regional or ministerial committee for EIA that will require considerate support, both methodological and procedural. In the area, valuable experience may be sourced from the EIA committees´ activities in the Netherlands, Canada, Poland and Hungary.

P: Training of members of these bodies shall be subject to methodological and procedural instructions to be issued.

Par. 9

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: The area is covered satisfactorily in Article II.12 and Annex 8 of the EIA Objective (The Statement contents and the procedure of publishing.

M: -

P: -

Par. 10

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: This area is addressed in Article II.11 of EIA Objective where it is clearly stated that the validity of any statement by a competent body is limited in time. According to Article II, any plan has to be re-considered and re-evaluated within EIA upon its validity expiring. In addition, it is stipulated in Article 13 and II.14 (Monitoring and Post-project analysis of an implemented plan) stipulate an obligation of monitoring. However, publishing information received from monitoring is not approached satisfactorily in the bill. The obligation (together with the obligation to inform affected municipalities of the outcomes of monitoring) should be explicitly stipulated in the paragraphed edition of the act.

M: -

P: -

Par. 11

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: ?

M: ?

P: ?

Article 7

Public Participation Concerning Plans, Programmes And Policies Related To The Environment

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: This area is extensive, it deals with "plans related to the environment" (the plan should mean a specific concept to be inter alia reflected in the area development planning) and "preparation of programmes and policies related to the environment" (i.e. departmental concepts in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, mineral mining etc. and development of programme documents for the EU structural funds.) In general, public participation in preparation of these documents may be categorised as follows:

M: Ignorance and disregard of requested consultation is a general difficulty the public encounters dealing with the existing and projected legal provisions to support preparations of strategic documents (plans, programmes and policies) Therefore, it is most appropriate that detailed methodological instructions are prepared and supporting training and educational programmes are designed for all the departments engaged in preparation of the strategic documents (i.e. the departments responsible for area development planning, programme documents for the EU structural funds and concepts in the field of energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, mineral mining etc. in particular)

P: Training for the public administration linked to the methodology prepared in the given field (see above)

Article 8

Public Participation During The Preparation Of Executive Regulations And/Or Generally Applicable Legally Binding Normative Instruments

Adequate measures to secure implementation in the Czech Republic:

L: There are no legal regulations applicable to this field in the Czech Republic yet and the enactment is one of aims EIA Objective strives for in Section III (assessment of concepts). Whether the proposed rules to be enacted are included in the final wording of the act is yet to be answered.

M: Any procedures applicable to public discussions of acts that could affect the environment in a decisive manner are missing completely in the Czech Republic. It would be most appropriate to commence preparation of the methodological instructions for the area in an accelerated manner in order to enhance the Czech republic’s readiness to accept the propose system of discussing/hearing bills (and other concepts. Interesting experience may be sourced from relevant methodology in Slovakia.

P: -

Pilsen Environmental Foundation
Americká 29, 301 38 Plzeň
Czech Republic
Tel./Fax:++0420-19-74 55 905
e-mail: pen@iol.cz
Bankovní spojení: ČSOB a.s., pobočka Plzeň, č.ú.: 8010 - 0104 247 403 / 0300

© Plzeňská ekologická nadace, Miroslav Šuta
4.října 1999