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Revised Working Standards for Development Activity Environmental Impact Assessments Announced

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On 2 February 2021, the EPA announced the revised Working Standards for Development Activity Environmental Impact Assessments and Article 8 Annex 2. The focuses of this revision included: the requirement to upload the original data from environmental surveys to the EPA website; the stipulation that developmental activities in areas involving indigenous lands, tribes, or the public lands within a certain distance from these lands should be handled in accordance with the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law; the requirement to publish the minutes of public meetings on designated websites and include them in environmental impact assessment (EIA) statements, and; the review and adjustment of several items of development activity environmental surveys in categories such as air quality, hydrology, water quality, and soil. Revisions will take effect six months after the day of the announcement.

The EPA pointed that the Working Standards require developers to assess their development activities' environmental impacts and formulate preventive measures in advance of making EIA statements and reports. The Working Standards also unify the formats of EIA documents to enhance document quality and EIA review efficiency. The revisions will: allow for better utilization and analysis of environmental quality survey data; strengthen the protection of indigenous peoples' rights, and; enhance the disclosure of EIA information, and better fulfill the right to public participation.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, Feb 2021

Ministry of Environment