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EIA - Simplified Procedure
Business management → Environmental impact assessment

Requirement

Name

EIA - Simplified Procedure (B)

General information

By means of a simplified procedure decisions for certain projects which are enumerated in columns 2 and 3 of Annex 1 to the Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz 2000 (UVP-G 2000) concerning the approvability of the respective project (e.g. waste treatment plants, infrastructural projects, intensive livestock installations, industrial plants) are taken via decree. This type of procedure means, compared to the EIA procedure, a more flexible organisation of the procedure (e.g. preparation of a summary assessment instead of an opinion on environmental soundness), however, the same ecological standards apply also in the simplified procedure.

The procedural deadline for the simplified procedure amounts to six months.

For certain railway or road construction projects separate provisions shall apply.

Prerequisites

See Description of the subject matter.

Deadlines

See Description of the subject matter.

Required documents

  • The documents required according to administrative provisions (presentation of the plan, approval of the owner of the land)
  • Environmental Impact Statement

The Environmental Impact Statement shall contain the following elements:

  • Description of the project according to location, type and extent, in particular
    • Description of the physical features of the total project including, where relevant, Requisite demolition works as well as the demand for land use during the construction and the operation
    • Description of the most important features of the production (such as processing procedures), in particular with respect to type and quantity of the materials used and natural resources
    • Type and quantity of the residues and emissions to be expected (e.g. water, air and soil and subsoil pollution, noise, vibrations, light, heat, radiation) resulting from the realisation and Operation Phase
    • Climate and energy concept (energy concept, broken down according to plants, machines and tools as well as according to fuels, available energetic ratios, presentation of energy flows, measures on energy efficiency, presentation of the climate-relevant greenhouse gases caused by the project, and measures aiming at their reduction for the purpose of climate protection, confirmation of an authorised civil engineer or a technical office that the measures contained in the climate and energy concept comply with the state-of-the-art)
    • Description of the vulnerability of the project concerning risks of major accidents or natural and to climate change (in particular due to the project location) as far as this is relevant to the project concerned
  • Description of the most important other realistic solutions examined by the project applicant (e.g. in terms of project design, technology, loocation, size and scale), the baseline scenario and an indication of the main reasons for selecting the Chosen option including a comparison of the environmental impacts, the location or route variants examined by the project applicant in the case of section 1 paragraph 1 (4) of the UVP-G 2000
  • Description of the aspects of the environment likely to be significantly affected by the project including in particular humans being, biodiversity including fauna, flora an and their habitats, land taken, soil, water, air, climate, landscape and material assets including the cultural heritage and the inter-relationship between the above factors
  • Description of the likely significant effects of the proposed project on the environment resulting from 
    • construction and existence of the project
    • use of natural resources
    • emission of pollutants, noise, vibration, light, heat and radiation, the creation of nuisances, and the disposal and recovery of waste
    • risks to human health, cultural heritage or the environment (for example due to accidents or disasers)
    • cumulation of effects with other existing and/or approved projects
    • risks of major accidents or natural disasters and the climate change as far as this is relevant to the project concerned
    • description of the methods used to forecast the effects on the environment
  • Description of measures envisaged to prevent, reduce or, where possible, offset any significant adverse effects of the project on the environment and of relevant measures to prevent or reduce the effects deriving from the risks to major accidents oder natural disasters as well es follow-up measures and any measures to secure evidence and ensure concomitant control
  • Non-technical summary of the information mentioned in numbers 1 to 5
  • Information about the methods used for the assessment of environmental impacts
  • Short indication of any difficulties (in particular technical deficiencies or lack of data) of the project applicant in the compilation of the required information
  • Reference to "Strategic Environmental Assessments" carried out for the purposes of Directive No 2001/42/EC on the examination of the environmental impacts of certain plans and programmes with respect to the project

The project applicant shall ensure that the environmental impact assessment report is prepared by competent experts. Project documents which, according to the opinion of the project applicant, contain business or company secrets shall be especially identified. Data, which are not relevant for a specific project or are not available, must not be submitted. With regard to an efficient process management, the earliest possible contact between the project applicant and the authorities is necessary for determining the scope of the investigation (scoping). The scoping can either be carried out as a formal procedure or as part of the investor service (sect. 4 para. 3) and should avoid unnecessary documentation and enable a concentration on the significant environmental effects.

The approval documents have to be submitted - electronically, if possible.

Costs

The costs depend on the respective Ordinances of the Federal Provinces on levies and fees. Please ask the competent body in advance.


Responsible department

Competent authority


Detail information

Procedure

The implementation of the approval procedure is applied for by the project applicant with the competent agency.

A citizens' initiative has, according to the rulings of the Supreme Administrative Court from September 2018 also party status in the simplified procedure, if the citizens' initiative complies with the requirements set out in the EIA Act.

At several stages of the simplified procedure there is public participation:

  • Making the project documents open for inspection by the public
  • Right to comment on the application documents open for inspection and on the Environmental Impact Statement of the project applicant for every person
  • Right to access to the summary assessment of the environmental impacts
  • Right of participation within the framework of a possible public discussion
  • Right of participation of the parties in the oral negotiation
  • Information on the decision taken

Concerning the technical assessment of the possible impact of a project, experts from the various technical fields are commissioned by the competent authority. They prepare in a simplified procedure together a summary assessment of the environmental impacts.

After the preparation of the summary assessment it is forwarded to all stakeholders. After a public discussion (optional) and an oral procedure the competent authority decides on the approvability of the project.

Moreover, a follow-up – as provided for in the course of an EIA procedure after three to five years – does not have to be carried out.

Additional information

Legal basis

Section 3 paragraph 1, section 4 paragraph 3, section 5, section 6 of the Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz 2000 (UVP-G 2000)