Important changes of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 affect the industrial construction sector

Important changes of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 affect the industrial construction sector

The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 effective from January 1, 2022, has many important new points related to environmental impact assessment, environmental permits, etc.

Important changes of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020

On November 17, 2020, the Law on Environmental Protection was passed, including 16 chapters, 171 articles (reducing 04 chapters, increasing 01 article compared to the Law on Environmental Protection in 2014),  regulations on environmental protection activities. The law takes effect from January 1, 2022.

The Environmental Law 2020 has the following new points:

– Issuing environmental criteria to classify investment projects, preliminary assess environmental impacts of projects.

– Additional regulations on state management authority in environmental protection

– Environmental Permit

– Management of domestic solid waste through waste sorting activities.

– People who do not sort garbage will be rejected by garbage collection

– Strengthening information disclosure, consultation, and promoting the role of the community in environmental protection activities

Các thay đổi quan trọng của Luật bảo vệ môi trường 2020

Important updates related to the industrial construction sector

Classification of investment projects, preliminary assessment of environmental impacts in order to reduce administrative procedures

The previous Environmental Protection Laws were mainly based on the criteria of the level of impact on the environment and the land use area to classify investment projects. However, the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 has added detailed environmental criteria to classify investment projects and assess environmental impacts as follows:

Clause 1, Article 28 of the Law on Environmental Protection stipulates that environmental criteria for classifying investment projects include:

a) Project scale, capacity, type of production, business and service;

b) Land use area, land with water surface, sea area; scale of exploitation of natural resources;

c) Environmentally sensitive factors, including concentrated residential areas; water sources used for domestic water supply purposes; nature reserves according to the provisions of the law on biodiversity and fisheries; types of forests according to the provisions of the law on forestry; tangible cultural heritage, other natural heritage; land for wet rice cultivation with 02 or more crops; important wetlands; requirements for migration, resettlement and other sensitive environmental factors.

According to the provisions of Clause 2, Article 28 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, based on environmental criteria, investment projects are classified into groups I, II, III and IV. In there:

  • Group I: investment projects that pose a high risk of adverse environmental impacts
  • Group II: investment projects that pose a risk of adverse environmental impacts
  • Group III: investment projects that pose a low risk of adverse environmental impacts
  • Group IV: investment projects that do not pose a risk of adverse environmental impacts

Refer to Decree 08/2022/ND-CP for more detail articles of the Law on Environmental Protection

Clause 6, Article 3 of the Law on Environmental Protection in 2020: “Preliminary environmental impact assessment is the consideration and identification of the main environmental issues of an investment project during the pre-feasibility study or the stage of proposing the implementation of an investment project.” To carry out this assessment, on May 21, 2021, the Government issued Decree No. 54/2021/NĐ-CP  stipulating preliminary environmental impact assessment.

With the above change, the factory building enterprise should pay attention to choose the appropriate construction land area for the project. In addition, only investment projects that pose a high risk of adverse environmental impacts (Group I) are subject to a preliminary environmental impact assessment. This regulation will help investors save a lot of time and cost of environmental procedures for the factory construction project.

Read More:Amended Investment Law 2020 and things investors need to know

New point in regulations on Environmental Permit

Environmental permit is granted right from the stage of feasibility study and post-audit when the project comes into operation, or only environmental registration and revocation of relevant permits are required.

Subjects that must have a Environmental permit include:

  • Investment project in Group I, Group II and Group III (according to Clause 2, Article 28, Law on Environmental Protection 2020) that generate wastewater, dust, and exhaust gases discharged into the environment must be treated, or generate hazardous wastes must be managed according to regulations on waste management. Urgent public investment projects in accordance with the law on public investment will be exempted from environmental permit.
  • Investment projects, production facilities, concentrated production, business and service zones, and industrial clusters operating before the effective date of this Law have the same environmental criteria as those mentioned above.

Depending on the type of project, the licensing authority and regulations in the content of the environmental clearance will be different.

With the significant changes in the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 compared to 2014, businesses need to pay attention to compliance to ensure records as well as comply with the provisions of the law when constructing factories and conducting business activites in Vietnam.

Nguồn thông tin: thuvienphapluat.vn

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