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Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment" and peculiarities of its use during quarantine

On 17 July 2020, amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Article 17 of the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment" regarding the prevention and spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19)" dated 18 June 2020 No. 733-IX (in hereinafter "Law") came into force.

In accordance with the Law, temporarily, for the period of validity of the quarantine territory established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) on the territory of Ukraine, until its complete cancelation and within 30 days from the date of the quarantine cancelation, the public discussions on planned activities are held by providing written comments and suggestions (including in electronic form), as indicated in the announcement of the start of public discussions of the environmental impact assessment report.

During the specified period, the public hearings provided for in Article 7 of the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment" are not held.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine (hereinafter the "Ministry") posted on its website the recommended step-by-step plan for business entities, which provides for a public discussion of the environmental impact assessment report after the entry into force of the Law.

Namely, the Ministry proposes to take the following steps:

1) Prepare an announcement on the public discussions of the environmental impact assessment report (hereinafter - the "Discussion") initiation in the form and in accordance with the requirements established by the Procedure for the transfer of documentation to provide a conclusion on the environmental impact assessment and financing of the environmental impact assessment, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 13 December 2017 No. 1026 (hereinafter the "Procedure").

1) In paragraph 4 of clause 5 of the Announcement after the words "Public hearings (initial) will take place" indicate: "The date, time, place and address of the public hearings has not been determined; temporarily, for the period of validity and within the quarantine territory established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) on the territory of Ukraine, until it is completely cancelled and within 30 days from the date of the quarantine cancellation, the public discussions of planned activities are carried out in the form of submitting written comments and proposals (including in electronic form)";

2) Ensure the publication of the Announcement in print media (at least two) and placement on notice boards in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 4 of the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment";

3) In accordance with clause 6 of the Procedure, it is necessary to download all the necessary documents to obtain a conclusion on environmental impact assessment through the electronic cabinet of the Unified Register for Environmental Impact Assessment (hereinafter - the "Register") of the corresponding registration file on environmental impact assessment.

Further, the public discussions are held in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment" as amended in accordance with the Law of Ukraine dated 18 June 2020 No. 733-IX, in the form of submitting written comments and proposals (including in electronic form).

In accordance with clauses 16 of the Procedure, a business entity must pay a fee for holding public discussions to the account specified by the authorized territorial body or the authorized central body, prior to the submission of the environmental impact assessment report and the announcement of the initiation of public discussion of the environmental impact assessment report.

The payment for holding the public discussions is carried out by a business entity after receiving a corresponding invoice for payment of services for holding the public discussions in the process of carrying out an environmental impact assessment on the basis of a public discussion agreement concluded with the Ministry based on the form specified here.

For more information, please contact Asters Counsel Anzhelika Livitska

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