Environmental Assessments and Authorizations: SEA - EIA - IPPC Permit

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Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Sec. V, 21-03 - 2013 Case C-244/12 - Submission of projects to EIA



The Court of Justice with the abovementioned judgment stated that "Member States are required to submit to an environmental impact assessment all projects that may have a significant environmental impact: specifically the Austrian legislation, which in the case of modification of an airport provides for the submission to an EIA these types of projects just in case they lead to an increase of at least 20,000 units per year in terms of aircraft movements, is contrary to EU law".

In detail, the company that manages the Salzburg Airport applied for a permit to build an additional terminal, without an EIA, presenting additional instances later to expand the airport area.

The local competent authority in environmental matters asked the Office of the Government of the Province of Salzburg to ascertain the obligation to carry out an environmental study on both the additional terminal and works to extend the airport infrastructure. The requested authority rejected the application and the local authority in environmental matters contested that decision before the Umweltsenat, which, on the contrary, found that both the expansion of the airport and the expansion provided for in the permit applications required an environmental impact assessment.

This decision was contested by the Company before the Supreme Administrative Court of Austria and has been put to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.