Environmental Assessments and Authorizations: SEA - EIA - IPPC Permit

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Judgement 199/2014 of the Constitutional Court in the field of wind turbines and mining rights



By judgment 199 of 10 July 2014 the Constitutional Court declared illegal certain provisions laid down in law 25/2012 of the Sardinia Region "Urgent provisions in the field of local authorities and sectors" that, in terms of construction of new wind power plants or expansion of existing facilities, provide for a full-scale ban on the installation of the facilities throughout Sardinia.

The State Attorney notes that, under Article 12 of Decree 387 of 29 December 2003, as well as paragraph 17 of Annex 3 of the Ministerial Decree of 10 September 2010, Regions can proceed to the identification of areas and sites unsuitable for the installation of specific types of plants, but they cannot provide individually for the identification of the criteria for the correct insertion of plants fuelled by renewable sources.

By art. 8 paragraph 2 of Law 25/2012 Sardinia Region "by identifying exclusively areas where the construction of wind farms is allowed, produces the effect of legislating a ban on placing this category of plants in areas not listed, developing an implicit landscape protection of large areas and coastal environments, which is not consistent with the notion of landscape".

As regards the complaint concerning the extension of mining rights and quarrying permits, the Court declares illegal Article 18 law 25/2012 of Sardinia Region stating that "the automatic extension of mining rights and quarrying permits that have never been subjected to environmental impact assessment (or EIA screening) means that, for them, the contested provision, while maintaining the status quo, integrates a circumvention of the legislation on environmental impact assessment dictated by the State in the exercise of legislative power due to it pursuant to art. 117 of the Constitution".