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Environmental Assessment stagnation may end


The Spanish Senate approved last Friday the draft Environmental Quality Assessment Law, that may shortly become effective.

The stated purpose of the law would be to “simplify and expedite” the administrative steps necessary to secure an Environmental Impact Assessment Declaration (DIA in Spanish), while the government acknowledges that the material number of pending assessments are clearly “halting development”. Harmonized procedures shall apply throughout the 17 Autonomous regions, reportedly reducing the time necessary to secure a DIA in about four months, which is – according to a Ministry spokesman “a reasonable time” to complete the process.

Some 10.000 files are presently halted in Spain due to the delays in producing the necessary environmental assessments. The average delay to have a DIA issued can reach the astonishing figure of…five years!! It is hoped that the enactment of the Quality Assessment Law will help to expedite a material number of the pending cases, but this goal is still a question mark.

The term seems unrealistic; at least until the pending 10.000 cases are left behind, which can certainly take time. Else, those 10.000 files will be delayed even further so that the government can meet the 4 months commitment with regard to new projects.


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