Environmental Assessments and Authorizations: SEA - EIA - IPPC Permit

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Judgment no. 93/2013 of the Constitutional Court on the Law n.3/2012 of the Marche Region on EIA



By judgment no. 93 of 22 May 2013 the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional Law no. 3 of 26 March 2012 of the Marche Region "Regional discipline on environmental impact assessment" in so far as it is not in compliance with European and national law. In particular, the Court emphasized that the EIA regulations are integral part of the environmental protection subject of exclusive competence of the State and therefore the Region must "keep its legislation in the fields of competence set by the Environmental Code."

Directive 2011/92/EU concerning environmental impact assessment provides a precise obligation on Member States to subject to an EIA not only projects listed in Annex I, but also the projects described in Annex II, in cases where the outcome of the screening procedure states they are suitable to generate a significant environmental impact. Screening must be carried out by making use of specific selection criteria set out in Annex III to the Directive and regarding not only the size but also other characteristics of the projects (the cumulation with other projects, the use of natural resources, the production of waste, pollution and environmental noise produced, their location and their potential impact with reference to, among other things, the geographic area and the density of the affected population).

In accordance with the abovementioned obligation under Community law, the Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the Annexes A1, A2, B1 and B2 of the Law no.3 of 2012 of the Marche Region in so far as, in defining criteria for identifying projects to be subject to EIA and regional or provincial EIA screening, do not provide that must be taken into account, on a case by case basis, of all the criteria listed in Annex III of the EU Directive, as required by art. 4, paragraph 3 of the Directive.