Environmental Impact Assessment
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process was implemented into the Czech Republic’s legal system on 1 July 1992, upon the entry into force of Czech National Council Act No. 244/1992 Coll., on environmental impact assessment. The process constituted both an important element in the system of preventive environmental protection instruments and, simultaneously, a significant component of environmental policy.
As of 1 January 2002, Czech National Council Act No. 244/1992 Coll., namely its section pertaining to impact assessment of projects, was superseded by Act No. 100/2001 Coll., on environmental impact assessment and amending some related regulations.
On 1 May 2004, Act No. 100/2001 Coll. was amended by Act No. 93/2004 Coll., which regulates, in accordance with the laws of the European Communities, the assessment of environmental impacts and impacts on public health and the procedures to be adhered to by individuals, legal entities, administrative authorities and self-governed territorial units (municipalities and regions) in the course of such assessments. In addition to that, the Act also newly regulated the assessment of environmental impacts of concepts and abolished the valid Czech National Council Act No. 244/1992 Coll., on the assessment of environmental impacts of development concepts and programmes. Concurrently, the transitional provisions of the Act (Section 24) stipulated that assessments which had been started prior to the effective date of the Act shall be completed pursuant to Act No. 244/1992 Coll. In view of the individual cases on which work had already been in progress to a considerable extent, several concepts and projects were being assessed pursuant to the original Act No. 244/1992 Coll. as late as 2006.
As of 27 April 2006, Act No. 100/2001 Coll., as amended by Act No. 93/2004 Coll., was amended by Act No. 163/2006 Coll. Among other things, the Act also took into account the so-called ‘below-limit projects’, which was reflected in the statistics for the relevant year, namely as an increase in the number of submitted notifications under Section 6 of the Act. As of 22 August 2007, Act No. 100/2001 Coll. was amended by Act No. 216/2007 Coll., which regulates impact assessment of below-limit projects and this step reduced the administrative strenuousness.
The objects of compulsory assessment consist of plans (projects) for construction, activities and technologies listed in Annex No. 1 of Act No. 100/2001 Coll., as amended by Act No. 93/2004 Coll., Act No. 163/2006 Coll., Act No. 186/2006 Coll., Act No. 216/2007 Coll., and their amendments pursuant to Section 4.1. The Ministry of the Environment, in accordance with the provisions of Article 21 and the regional authority in accord with the provisions of Section 22 of this Act, provide for assessment of these plans (projects). The results of the process are employed as a professional basis for subsequent decision-making processes on the issuance of a permit for the plans (projects).
Objects of compulsory assessment also include plans (strategies) listed in Section 10(a) of the above Act and Land-Use Planning Documentation, the assessment of which is carried out in accordance with the provision of Section 10(i) of the Building Act. The process of strategic environmental impact assessment (SEA) is based on the systematic examination and assessment of the potential environmental impact. The purpose of this is to determine, describe and carry out comprehensive evaluation of the expected impacts of prepared plans (strategies) on the environment and public health in all decisive contexts. The EIA/SEA process is intended to reduce the detrimental environmental impacts of the evaluated projects and plans.
Information on assessed projects and concepts, processes, authorised subjects and other facts are available at www.cenia.cz/eia and www.cenia.cz/sea. The lists of authorised subjects are also regularly published in the Journal of the Ministry of the Environment (annotations refer to documents in the Czech language).