Rules on the performance of EIA
 

Updated last 26.03.2021

The order for the performance of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), is listed in art. 2. para. 1 of the Ordinance on the Rules and Conditions for the Performance of Environmental Impact Assessments (the Ordinance) and includes the following steps:

  • Notification of the competent authorities and the affected population – the contracting party notifies the competent authorities of its investment proposal. At the same time the contracting party also informs in writing the affected population, publishing the proposal on its website (if any) and through the mass media or using other appropriate methods;
  • Evaluation of the need to carry out EIA – Ministry of Environment and Water (MEW)/ regional inspectorates of the Environment and Waters (RIEW) performs an investigation and determines the need of performance of environmental impact assessment;
  • Holding consultations, determining the scope, contents and form of the EIA report – The Contracting Authority (Assignor) shall determine with which specialized institutions and representatives of the concerned and affected public consultations shall be held, in accordance with the characteristics of the investment proposal. At expressed written interest to the EIA procedure by persons or organizations beyond the circle of the determined ones, the Contracting Authority shall ensure that they are also consulted. The information received as a result of the consultations is used for elaboration of tasks within the EIA scope. The Contracting Authority, in accordance with the prepared Terms of Reference and the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act assigns the preparation of a report. The EIA report must contain thorough information regarding the specificities of the forthcoming construction, the characteristics of the existing environment, the estimated degree of the expected future impact as well as the alternatives investment proposals. The EIA report is prepared by a team of independent experts, and it includes sources of information, the methodology for the estimations and the EIA, the measures for mitigation of the expected future adverse impact on the environment;
  • Evaluation of the quality of the EIA report – in respect of the Evaluation of the quality of the EIA report, the contracting party submits a request for the issuance of a Decision on EIA, based on a template. The evaluation is performed by the competent authority within 30 days. The evaluation may be positive or negative and, if negative, the authority will issue guidelines on the elimination of any omissions and discrepancies in the report. The competent authority sets a term for implementation of the instructions. If the supplemented / revised report is not submitted within the term set, the EIA procedure is terminated.

 

Important to know
Important to know

In case of three negative evaluation reports, the EIA procedure is terminated.

 

  • Organization of a public consultation of the EIA report – the competent authority or a duly authorized official thereof also specifies the affected municipalities, districts and/or mayor's offices, that has to be included by the contracting party in the joint organization of public consultation of the EIA report and its relevant appendices, as the minutes from the public discussions is submitted to the competent authority, who may make a decision and give guidelines for supplementing the report as a result of the opinions, statements and objections, received during the public discussions. In these cases, it is necessary to organize a new public discussion;
  • Decision on the EIA – the competent authority makes its decision within 45 days after the finalization of the public consultation. The decision on the EIA is positive, when there are no motivated objections, regarding the lawfulness of the implementation of the investment proposal and the plan for the implementation of the measures for prevention, mitigation or elimination of significant adverse effects; and ensures compliance with the environmental quality and human health protection standards. The decision may also be negative, when there were no proposals, or such proposals have not been accepted by the contracting party, or there are no other possible options for implementing the investment proposal that ensure and guarantee the observation of the environmental quality standards or objections, concerning the lawfulness have been submitted;
  • Supervision of the fulfilment of the conditions and measures, set out in the decision on the EIA or the decision for the need of EIA - RIEW/MEW performs the supervision of the fulfilment of the conditions, set out in the decisions: 1. Upon approval and coordination of the development-project design; 2. During the construction; 3. Upon issuing permits of use of the construction project; 4. During the operation of the site.

 

Necessary documents for the provision of the service for the evaluation of the need of performance of EIA

It is necessary to submit a request, based on a template to the competent authorities – MEW/RIEW, and it has to be accompanied by the following documents:

  • The information as per Appendix No.  2 to art. 6 of the Ordinance on the Rules and Conditions for the Performance of Environmental Impact Assessments – information on the contracting party, investment proposal, potential environmental impact, public interest, etc.;
  • For clarification of the public interest, the competent authority provides public access to the information as per Appendix 2, publishing a notice on its website for a minimum of 14 days for access to the information and submission of statements by the stakeholders. A copy of the request and the information as per Appendix 2 are submitted in electronic form to the respective municipality/district/mayor's office;
  • Evaluation report, as per art. 99а of the EPA (confirming the application of the state of the art);
  • Information and Evaluation report, as per art. 99б, para. 1 EPA (in the cases under art. 109, para. 4 of the EPA) – one printed copy and one electronic copy. The establishment and operation of a new and the operation of an existing enterprise and/or facility of high risk potential for the environment or parts thereof, which takes place only upon the issuance of a Decision by the Executive Director of the Executive Environment Agency for the approval of the safety report. The decision is compulsory for the issuance of a construction permit to the enterprise and/or facility, pursuant to the provisions of the  Spatial Development Act (SDA). An exception to this rule are the enterprises/facilities, as well as planned changes/expansions therein, for which an EIA procedure has been completed with a decision, approving the location and confirming the safe distance of the facility;
  • Information on the date and method of payment of the payable fee.

A template of the application can be found here.The competent authorities issue a statement on the need of performance of EIA within one month after the submission of the request by the contracting party.

Based on the results of the inspections performed, a decision is prepared, indicating the conclusions, related to the absence of a need to perform EIA.

 

Appealing decisions under EIA/the decisions for the evaluation of the need of EIA

The decisions under the EIA/decisions for the evaluation of the need of EIA may be appealed within 14 days of their announcement, in accordance with the applicable legal regulations.

The appeal procedure is implemented through the administrative authority (MEW/RIEW), issuing the decision, before the competent administrative court. The court decisions of the administrative courts may be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court.

 

Fee

The fee for the issuance of the Decision for the evaluation of the need to perform EIA is BGN 500 (art. 1, para. 5, item 1 of the Tariff of the fees, collected within the system of the Ministry of Environment and Water).

The MEW maintains a public register with details on the performed EIA and environmental assessment procedures. You can find the register here.

 

For more information
For more information

For more information on the rules for the performance of Environmental Impact Assessment and the related regulatory framework please refer to the website of the:

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