December 18 marks a year since the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure was launched in Ukraine. During the final conference, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Ostap Semerak announced that over 12 months of the effect of the law there have been registered 1749 cases in the Unified National Environmental Impact Assessment Registry.
The new law abolished the outdated ecological expertise and now allows identifying environmental risks even before the construction, reconstruction, technical re-equipment, enlargement, adapting, liquidation (dismantling) of facilities that could pollute the environment. Similar laws have long been effective in EU countries.
"In general, the law is effective. About 250 conclusions on the environmental impact assessment have already been issued. The number of registered cases in the National Registry is over 1700. This is an average indicator of Poland. We took it for an indicator of efficiency when a year ago we were launching an EIA procedure in practice. Although in the first months of the effect of the law on environmental impact assessment, we experienced real resistance from certain Ukrainian enterprises and the intention to repeal this law", the Minister commented on the new law for Ukraine.
Also, during the year, about 500 public hearings were conducted under the EIA procedure.
The Minister named Prydniprovska TPP as the most striking example of the successful implementation of EIA in practice. The assessment of environmental impacts took place in four units of this enterprise. According to the EIA conclusion, by the end of the year, a new electric filter must be installed at the 10th power unit of the Prydniprovska TPP. Meanwhile, Ostap Semerak expressed the hope that with time more and more Ukrainian enterprises will be guided by the EIA conclusions, in which the requirements of ecological modernization and reduction of negative impact on the environment are the priority.
On December 18, 2017, the Law of Ukraine On Environmental Impact Assessment entered into force, thereby introducing in Ukraine a European model of environmental assessment in line with the requirements of Directive 2011/92/EU and ensured the fulfillment of Ukraine's international obligations under the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the Energy Community Treaty, the UNECE environmental agreements, etc.
It also allows the public at an early stage to participate in the discussion of planned activities by creating a list of issues that will be researched during the EIA, will influence the choice of alternative venue for planned activities, and introduce measures that will reduce the impact of such activities on the environment.
The entire EIA procedure is carried out through the Unified Register. The Ministry of Environmental Protection also operates a hotline for additional advice on the practical functioning of the EIA.
Moreover, the first ecobot SaveEcoBot www.saveecobot.com was launched in Ukraine, which aggregates a number of environmental data, including data from the Unified Register of EIA.
It operates in Telegram and will soon be available on Facebook Messenger, Skype and Viber. Using ecoBot is free.