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Horta ,  November 17, 2010

Diploma establishing legal framework to assess environmental impact and licensing published

The legislative decree establishing a legal framework to assess the environmental impact and licensing in the Azores comes into force on December 2.
With 136 articles and 13 attachments, this extensive decree, published in the Official Journal on Wednesday, stipulates the legal framework to regulate the assessment of the effects of some plans and programmes on the environment as well as the assessment of the environmental impact of public and private projects capable of producing significant effects on the environment.
Approved at the Legislative Assembly last September by proposal of the Regional Government, this legal framework also stipulates a single procedure regarding the integrated prevention and control of pollution and environmental impact assessment of the aforementioned projects.
It also sets the legal framework for prevention and control of pollution (PCIP) in some activities and the establishment of measures to prevent or, when this is not possible, to reduce emissions resulting from these activities into the air, water and soil, including the noise prevention and control and waste production in order to achieve a higher level of environmental protection.
Under the terms of this regional legislative decree, the environmental licensing aims to prevent and control pollution, prevent major accidents involving hazardous substances and limit its consequences for human beings and the environment.
Furthermore, it also stipulates that the environmental licensing concern the adoption of prevention measures in order to avoid or, when such it is not possible, reduce emissions resulting from these activities into the air, water and soil, including waste management measures to achieve a higher level of environmental protection.
The environmental licensing also integrates the rules derived from the establishment of the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme.
With regard to public participation, the diploma stipulates that the environmental authority and other competent authorities shall ensure transparency and public access to information produced under the terms of that legal framework, without detriment to the legislation on the access to environmental information.
In turn, the evaluation process and environment licensing is public and the available procedures and pleadings may be consulted by the public concerned at the headquarters of the environmental authorities, public libraries and regional archives and on the portal of the Regional Government on the Internet.

This regional legislative decree transposes into the regional legal scheme EU directives concerning the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, the integrated prevention and control of pollution, control hazards associated with major accidents involving dangerous substances and the establishment of a greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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