Forthcoming amendment of the Environmental Impact Analysis Act

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The amendment of the Environmental Impact Analysis Act introduces some relevant modifications.

Due to the reform of the administrative litigation, which will enter into force on 1st January 2014, the environmental tribunal (“Umweltsenat”) will be dissolved. Therefore the new implemented Federal Administrative Court will receive the competences of the dissolved environmental tribunal. The amendment of the Environmental Impact Analysis Act provides that the Federal Administrative Court shall consist of senates.

A further innovation is that authorities will be obliged to publish their decisions on the obligation or non-obligations for assessments of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. The reason is to simplify the participation of environmental organisations which possess a right of exanimation. The right of review of environmental organisations was implemented in order to prevent an infringement procedure before the European Court of Justice. 

However the amendment did not bring any innovations for the public concerned. Still, neighbours or citizens’ initiatives are not involved as parties in environmental impact assessments.

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