Spain drafts EIA bill

The Spanish Environment Ministry has drafted a bill requiring environmental impact assessments for certain urban industrial and agricultural developments.

The bill, required by EU legislation, has already been criticised as luke-warm by ecologist groups, reports El Pais. The principal criticisms are that projects could be split into various technical dossiers that would be evaluated separately – thus avoiding an overall assessment, and that there is an exemption clause for projects that the local, regional or central Government considers in the public interest to remain confidential.

Another criticism is that the bill fails to cover various types of projects that were covered in drafts by previous governments. At the same time, according to El Pais, the Government maintains that it is ahead of European legislation, by including a number of types of projects that are not yet covered by the directive, such as: urban developments, energy, forestry and agricultural plans and programs, industrial sectors, airports, railways, ports, roads, coastline, and tourism.

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