Environmental Assessments and Authorizations: SEA - EIA - IPPC Permit

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Operational guidelines for the SEA Screening Procedure

Purpose

The Screening is a procedure aimed at determining whether a plan or program should or should not be subject to the Strategic Environmental Assessment procedure. The SEA Screening Procedure is regulated by article 12 Title II, Part II of Legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments.

Scope

Plans and programmes involving minor changes or affecting small areas of local use and which fall within the scope of the SEA are subject to screening, that is:

  1. Plans and programmes which are prepared for the assessment and management of ambient air quality, for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste management, water management, telecommunications, tourism, territorial planning or land use and which set the framework for the approval, authorization, location area or at least the implementation of projects listed in Annexes II, III and IV of Legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments;
  2. Plans and programmes for which, in view of the likely impacts on the conservation objectives of the sites designated as special protection areas for the conservation of wild birds and those classified as sites of Community importance for the protection of natural habitats and of flora and wild fauna, is to require an appropriate assessment pursuant to article 5 of the Presidential Decree 357/1999 and subsequent amendments.

May be subject to SEA screening also plans and programmes other than those falling within the scope of the SEA, which define the reference framework for the authorization of projects. SEA screening on modifications to plans and programmes or implementation tools of plans or programmes already under SEA, is confined to significant environmental effects that have not previously been considered by the higher-level legislation instruments.

Parties involved

  • Ministry of the Environment Land and Sea - Directorate - General for Sustainable Growth and Quality of Development, as competent authority (in the person of the Minister) at national level (Article 7, paragraph 5 Legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments) with the technical and scientific support of the Technical Verification Committee of the 'Environmental Impact - EIA and SEA (Article 8 Legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments).
  • Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities - Directorate-General for the landscape, fine arts, architecture and contemporary art, which collaborates to collaborates to the technical assessment, expresses the Opinion of competence and expresses itself (in the person of the Minister) in concert with the competent authority in the reasoned Opinion of SEA.
  • Experts of environmental matters - public administrations and public bodies, for their specific skills or environmental responsibilities, may be interested in the environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of plans and programmes (Article 5, paragraph 1 letter s) of Legislative Decree152/2006 and subsequent amendments). By way of illustration only, and not of limitation, among the parties can be identified:
    • Other Ministries;
    • Basin Authorities (national, interregional, regional);
    • Park Authorities and other overseers of protected natural areas;
    • Superintendence for Architectural Heritage and Landscape and Archaeological Superintendence competent in the territory;
    • Regions and Autonomous Provinces.

Obligations for the Developer

  1. Legal Process
    1. Activation of the procedure
      Request to activate the SEA screening procedure and transmission of the preliminary report. The request is forwarded to the Ministry of the Environment on soft copy and also on hard copy:
      1. delivered by hand, by the person or by an individual in charge, every day from Monday to Friday at the Post Office located in Via Cristoforo Colombo 44, -1st floor, open Monday to Friday from 7.00 to 14.40 (all day) - with hand delivery will be issued by the operator seal and date of receipt;
      2. by registered mail with return receipt.

    The activation request form of SEA screening procedure can be downloaded from the "Forms" section of the Environmental Assessment SEA-EIA website. The administrative and technical documentation forwarded to the Ministry of the Environment must be provided in digital format (3 copies) according to the instructions contained in the " Technical Specifications for the preparation and transmission of SEA and EIA procedure’ documentation in digital format, in line with the legislative Decree 152/2006 and subsequent amendments” which can be downloaded from the "Technical Specifications and guidelines" section of the website, and on hard copy (1 copy).
    If the plan or programme affects marine areas in whole or in part , in the request form to start the procedure, the location must be completed with the name of the marine area concerned, according to the ranges reported in the following figure.

    Cartina VAS

    The preliminary report shall include a description of the plan or programme and the information and data necessary for the verification of significant impacts on the environment relating to the implementation of the plan or programme, and is designed with reference to the criteria in AAnnex I to Part II of Legislative Decree .152/2006 and subsequent amendments.
    The proceeding/developer authority may, at any stage of the procedure, ask the Directorate for Environmental Assessments - Division V Environmental Assessment Systems for the withdrawal of the request for activation of the procedure, which in this case will be closed. Archiving involves the launch of a new procedure if the same proceeding/developer authority or other parties are interested in proposing the plan or programme again.

  2. Obligations following the enactment of the SEA screening decisions Information on the decision
    1. Information on the decision
      The screening decision, including the reasons for it, shall be made public by the prosecuting/developer Authority and by the competent Authority through the publication on their websites.
    2. Compliance requirements
      The SEA screening procedure can be concluded with two outcomes: to be subjected to SEA, not to be subjected to SEA with/without prescriptions. In the case of not being subject to SEA, the developer is required to comply with the same by forwarding the findings to those responsible for the verification and control, with the manner and timing indicated in the prescription.

Obligations for the competent Authority

  1. Administrative verification
    The Directorate for Environmental Assessments - Division V Environmental Assessment Systems provides the verification of the admissibility of the procedure in terms of formal completeness of documents acquired. On the basis of this activity shall notify the developer and the other administrations concerned, in case of negative outcome, the actions and documentation required for the completion of the proceedings. After that, the administrative and technical documentation is forwarded to the Technical Committee of Environmental Impact - EIA and SEA for the fulfillment of expertise.
  2. Choice of the experts of environmental matters
    The Competent Authority in collaboration with the authority concerned/developer identifies the list of experts of environmental matters that will be involved in the SEA screening procedure.
  3. Consultation on the preliminary report
    The competent authority shall forward the documentation attached to the procedure request to the experts of environmental matters and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. The Directorate for Environmental Assessments - Division V Environmental Assessment Systems acquires of the opinions, comments and contributions within 30 days and send them to the Technical Committee for impact assessment EIA-SEA for the assessment activities.
  4. Technical assessment
    The Technical Verification Committee Of Environmental Impact - SEA and EIA carries out the technical assessment and - on the basis of the elements set out in Annex I of Legislative Decree 152/2006 as amended – taking into account of the opinions received, it checks whether the plan or program is likely to have a significant impact on the environment. The technical assessment concludes with an opinion of the Technical Verification Committee Of Environmental Impact - SEA and EIA.
  5. Decision
    On the basis of the opinion expressed by the Technical Verification Committee Of Environmental Impact - SEA and EIA, the Directorate - General for Sustainable Growth and Quality of Development- Division V Environmental Assessment Systems provides for the Decision issue, mandatory and binding, which conclude the screening. The Decision is issued within 90 days of the request for the initiation of the procedure. The screening Decision is notified to the developer and to the other authorities involved.
  6. Timelines for the SEA screening procedure
    The timing for issuing a SEA screening procedure Decision (from the date of request for the initiation of the procedure) can be summarized as follow:
    • 30 days (Article 12, paragraph 2) consultation on the preliminary report;
    • 90 days (Article 12, paragraph 4) assessment.
  7. Information on the Decision
    The Screening Decision, including the reasons for it, shall be made public by the competent authority and the proceeding/developer through the publication on their websites.
  8. .Monitoring and control
    The MoE - also through the operating organizations of which it avails itself (ISPRA and ARPA/APPA) - carries out the control on the correspondence with the requirements contained in the Screening Decision issued.