The Council of Ministers has suggested several amendments in the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). Their aim is to improve the rules in force as well as to harmonize them the European legislation. You can read about the most important ones below:
Environmental Assessments (EA) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
The importance of a project or a program for the purposes of its EA shall be assessed on the basis of its impact on the climate and the vulnerability of the plan or the program to climate change.
Additional requirements will be posed to the report for the EIA for investment proposals. It shall include analysis of the results of previous such assessments related to the respective investment proposal.
Appeal of the Acts Issued under the EPA
The Council of Ministers proposes the repeal of the provisions specifying the time limit for examination and ruling on appeals. The review of the statements and resolutions on EA and EIA need, the resolutions of the Environment and Waters Minister on investment proposals of national importance, their extensions and amendments will be two-instance.
Prevention of Industrial Pollution
Several amendments provide for the access of interested parties to the procedures for approval of the reports on the safety measures in the high-risk enterprises and on the prevention of major-accident hazards in low-risk enterprises, as well as the procedures for installations permits.
The reports on the prevention of major-accident hazards (RPMAH) for new enterprises and facilities with low-risk potential shall be submitted with the Director of the respective Regional Environmental and Waters Inspectorate (REWI) before the enterprise or the facilities are put into operation or before any changes affecting the list of hazardous substances are made. The Director of the REWI publishes the RPMAH and its updates on the web page of the REWI and anybody affected shall have access to the document for at least 14 days. Where surface water or groundwater is affected, the respective Basin Directorate shall be notified. The RPMAH will be approved with a resolution and enterprises and facilities shall be put into operation provided that the resolution enters into force. The resolution could be appealed within 14 days.
The operator of an enterprises or facilities with high-risk potential shall submit the information for the outdoor emergency plan with the mayor of the respective municipality.
The drafts of permits for construction and use of new and operating installations and facilities for certain industrial activities shall be coordinated with the respective REWI and Basin Directorate. These drafts shall be published on the web page of the competent authorities.
The Environment and Water Minister shall classify enterprises and facilities which preserve hazardous substances instead of the Executive Director of Environmental Executive Agency according to the proposed rules.
EMAS Organizations Register
The Environmental and Water Ministry shall maintain a public register of the EMAS organizations in Bulgaria.
Liability of the
The Council of Ministers proposes an amendment in para 9 of the EPA. It provides that the liability related to environmental damages shall be borne by the buyer in the privatization and the privatized company or the persons who acquired the company, shares in the company or part of it.
There are new definitions for “new enterprise/facility” and “other enterprise/facility” and “waste recovery”.