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Decree Law No. 152-B/2017


Publication: Republic Diary No. 236/2017, Series I of 2017-12-11
  • Issuer: Environment
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 152-B/2017
  • Pages: 6584-(12) a 6584-(52)

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law defines new rules for the assessment of environmental impact of public and private projects with the potential to have significant effects on the environment.

For this, it introduces into Portuguese law the European directive 2014/52/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

What will change? There will be new factors to take into account when assessing projects

The following issues will be more important in project assessment and decision-making:

  • efficiency and sustainability of resource use
  • biodiversity protection
  • climate change
  • the type of territory and soil.

For this, rules will be defined so decisions about projects will take into account:

  • the effects on the soil
  • the assessment of the project’s effects on climate (the type and volume of greenhouse gas emissions)
  • the projects’ vulnerability to climate change
  • the projects’ impact on population health and well-being.
Project risk assessments will change

The environmental risks of projects will also be considered, such as:

  • the probability of major accidents or catastrophes
  • the projects’ ability to withstand such major accidents or catastrophes.
Requirements will be created for experts who assess the environmental impact

Criteria will be created to ensure that the experts participating in the environmental impact studies of these projects have the necessary qualifications and skills to provide quality information.

Deadlines for public consultation and communication will change

There will be new deadlines for the State when, during the project evaluation phase, it has to:

  • consult the public
  • communicate decisions or information.
The rules on project evaluation for the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA — Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente) will change

In projects where APA is both an environmental impact assessment authority and a project bidder, the rules on who issues the Environmental Impact Statement (DIA — Declaração de Impacte Ambiental) will change.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to improve the assessment of the environmental impact of projects.

For this:

  • the assessment requirements will be more demanding
  • procedures will be simplified
  • process efficiency will be improved.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect the day after being published but the changes it introduces take place from 1 January 2018.

Original Version

LEGAL TRANSLATOR

  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law

CONSOLIDATED LEGISLATION

Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.