EIA and Public Participation Legislation

Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters 1998 The Aarhus Convention was signed in June 1998 to grant the public rights regarding information access, public participation and access to justice, in governmental decision-making processes on matters concerning the local, national and transboundary environment; focusing on interactions between the public and public authorities. The Convention entered into force on 30 October 2001.
OSPAR Recommendation 2010/5 on the assessment of environmental impacts on threatened and/or declining species When assessments of environmental impacts of human activities that may affect the marine environment of the OSPAR maritime area are prepared, Contracting Parties should ensure they take account of the relevant species and habitats on the OSPAR List of threatened and/or declining species and habitats (OSPAR Agreement 2008-6). The Recommendation was implemented by means of administrative action.
Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (Kyiv, 2003)  The Kiev (SEA) Protocol, which entered into force on 11 July 2010, requires its Parties to evaluate the environmental consequences of their official draft plans and programmes. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is undertaken much earlier in the decision-making process than project environmental impact assessment (EIA), and it is therefore seen as a key tool for sustainable development. The Protocol also provides for extensive public participation in government decision-making in numerous development sectors.
Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (SEA Directive) Requirements for SEA are already in place in the EU and UK through the EU SEA Directive. The Directive entered into force on 27 June 2001.
Directive 2011/92/EU (EIA Directive) EC Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU) and came into force in early 2012.The EC Directive 2011/92/EU revokes the 85/337/EEC and the 97/11/EC Directives and amends the 2003/35/EC directive.The 2011/92/EU lists two classes of project to which the Directive applies: Annex 1 Projects for which environmental assessment (EA) is mandatory; and Annex 2 projects for which EA is discretionary. Under 2012/92/EU, oil and gas developments are listed as Annex 1 projects. On 26 October 2012 the European Commission launched proposals to amend Directive 2011/92/EU – the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive which was amended in 2014 by Directive 2014/52/EU.
EC Directive 2003/35/EC (as amended) providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/3 The Public Participation Directive implements the second part of the Aarhus Convention. The Directive requires an increase in the already high level of public participation in the process by which regulators consider environmental implications for offshore activities. The PPD Directive has brought about significant changes to EIA/ES requirements for modifications to existing developments, including production increases, through bringing the threshold for determination of the requirements for an EIA/ES in line with those for new developments. Member States were required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 25 June 2005.
EC Directive 2003/4/EC on Public Access to Information EC Directive 2003/4/EC transposes the first pillar of the Aarhus convention; access to information, into EU legislation requiring all public authorities to provide members of the public with access to and to disseminate the information they hold including environmental data. The information must be provided to any natural or legal person at their request, without them having to prove an interest and at the latest within two months for the request being made. The Directive entered into force on 14 February 2003 and the deadline for transposition in Member States was February 2005.
EC Directive 2014/52/EU Directive 2014/52/EU makes provision for improvements to the EIA procedure. Significant changes are also made to Annex 3 and 4 with a new Annex 2a detailing information that needs to be provided when determining whether projects listed in Annex II require an EIA. The new EIA Directive entered into force on 15 May 2014.
Data Protection Act 1998 The Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 seeks to strike a balance between the rights of individuals and the sometimes competing interests of those with legitimate reasons for using personal information. The DPA gives individuals certain rights regarding information held about them. It places obligations on those who process information (data controllers) while giving rights to those who are the subject of that data (data subjects). The 1998 DPA came into force early in 1999.
Environmental Impact Assessment (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 Minor changes to EIA Regulations including Marine Works
Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2009 The EIA Directive aims to ensure that the authorities giving consent for projects make decisions with full knowledge of significant effects on the environment. In Scotland the EIA Directive is implemented through various consent regimes, including the Town and Country Planning system. This legislation makes amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 as a result of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2006, and associated secondary legislation and came into force on 3 August 2009. Changes include; removal of outline planning permission and, changes to notifying environmental statements from the applicant to the planning authority.
Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 The Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations of 1999, transpose the EIA Directive as amended into Scottish planning law. The Regulations set out the statutory procedures, list the types of project to which they apply, specify the information to be contained in an environmental statement, list the consultation bodies and provide criteria for deciding whether projects are likely to have significant environmental effects. These Regulations came into force on 1 June 2011.
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 The Directive on Public Access to Information implements the first part of the Aarhus Convention into EU law and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 implement this Directive in the UK. The Regulations, which came into force on 1 January 2005, give a statutory right of access to environmental information held by public authorities and organisations with public authority responsibilities.
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations (EIR) 2005, which came into force on 1 January 2005, serves to implement EC Directive 2003/4/EC in Scotland and to establish an access regime allowing the public to request information from Scottish public authorities. The EIR 2004 form part of a freedom of information suite of legislation and the Freedom of Information Act, together with the Environmental Information Regulations and the Data Protection Act, are now part of the same whole. The Environmental Information Regulations providing access to environmental information, the Data Protection Act providing access to personal information of which the applicant is the subject and the Freedom of Information Act enabling access to all other information.
Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives the public a general right of access to information held by or on behalf of public authorities, promoting a culture of openness and accountability across the public sector. The full provisions of the act came into force on 1 January 2005.
Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2017/588 These Regulations apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland and extend to Scotland in relation to certain reserved matters in the Scottish inshore region and the Scottish offshore region. These Regulations make provision for environmental impact assessments to be carried out prior to consenting of various activities in UK waters and seas, including any area submerged at mean high water spring tide and the water of every estuary, arm of the sea, river or channel where the tide flows at mean high water spring tide.  These regulations transpose into UK legislation the amendments to the EU EIA Directive 2011/92/EU made by EU Directive 2014/52/EU.
The Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2017/115 These regulations apply in the Scotland Marine Area only. They replace Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 and transpose into Scottish legislation the amendments to the EU EIA Directive 2011/92/EU made by EU Directive 2014/52/EU.
National Scenic Areas (Scotland) Regulations 2008 The regulations (Scotland only) make minor amendments for certain projects requiring an EIA and came into force on 20 June 2008.
Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): An Overview The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published guidance which provides an explanation of the SEA process.
Pipelines Act 1962 The Pipelines Act 1962 was introduced to regulate and facilitate the construction and safe operation of pipelines. The Act received Royal Assent on 1 August 1962.
Planning Act of 2008 The Planning Act of 2008, Chapter 29 establishes the Infrastructure Planning Commission and makes provision about its functions; the authorisation of projects for the development of nationally significant infrastructure; to make provision about town and country planning; to make provision about the imposition of a Community Infrastructure Levy; and for connected purposes. Act was introduced and implemented into law in November 2008.
Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006 Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006, which received Royal Assent on 20 December 2006, is one of the most important reforms in the planning system in recent years, providing a legal framework for administration by central and local government.
Public Gas Transporter Pipeline Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 Pipelines constructed by a public gas transporter (PGT) under the Gas Act 1986 will require an EIA if their diameter exceeds 800 mm with a length greater than 40 km, or if the design operating pressure is > 7 bar gauge, or the pipeline passes through an environmental sensitive area. Under the licensing regime provided by the Gas Act 1995, PGTs as statutory undertakers have the benefit of permitted development rights and therefore do not need to apply for consent under the Pipelines Act 1962 or planning permission. However, the 1999 Regulations, which came into force on 15 July 1999, ensure that an EIA is undertaken by PGTs where significant environmental effects may occur.
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 The 2002 Act provides similar provision to the 2000 Act however in Scotland Central Government Departments are regulated under the UK Act however the Scottish Executive and its Agencies are regulated under the Scottish Act and came into force at the beginning of 2005. Departments with jurisdiction in England and Wales are regulated under the UK Act. The Act came into force in Scotland on 31 December 2005.
The Freedom of Information (Time for Compliance with Request) Regulations 2010 Under certain circumstances these regulations allow the response time to a request for information to be extended from 20 to 60 days. These regulations came into force on 17 November 2010.
The Gas Transporter Pipe-line Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 These Regulations, which came into force on 20 August 2007, amend the Gas Transporter Pipe-line Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 (the 1999 Regulations) and streamline the previous regime.
The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009 Effective from the 1 October 2009, these regulations indicate development consent for nationally significant infrastructure – this includes onshore pipelines.
The Marine Licensing (Pre-application Consultation) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 Marine Licensing (Pre-application Consultation) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 requires marine license applicants intent on undertaking certain classes of marine activity to carry out a pre-application consultation process. These Regulations came into force on 1st January 2014 and apply to Scotland only. From 6 April 2014, certain activities will be subject to a public pre-application consultation. Activities affected will be large projects with the potential for substantial impacts on the environment, local communities and other legitimate uses of the sea. This new requirement will allow local communities, environmental groups and other interested parties to comment on any proposed development in its early stages, before an application for a marine licence is even submitted.
The Offshore Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulation 1999 as amended The Offshore Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 The 1999 Regulations implemented the EC Directive on the assessment and effects of certain public and private activities on the environment.  The 1999 Regulations came into force on the 14 March 1999. The 2007 amendment implemented the requirements of the Public Participation Directive and came into force on 16 April 2007.
The Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Environmental Impact Assessment and other miscellaneous provisions) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2017/582 These regulations implement: Directive 2014/52/EU(a) (the ‘EIA Directive’ as it applies offshore); an obligation under Article 6 of Council Directive 92/43/EEC(b) (the ‘Habitats Directive’ as it applies to offshore oil and gas activities); minor corrections to the Offshore Petroleum Licencing (Offshore Safety Directive) (Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/315).
The Pipeline Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2000 Proposed onshore pipelines (except those of public gas transporters, the government and water companies – see below) which are more than 10 miles (16 km) long require a Pipeline Construction Authorisation (PCA) from the Secretary of State, under Section 1 of the Pipelines Act 1962. Such applications may be subject to EIA by virtue of the Pipeline Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2000. These Regulations entered into force on 1 September 2000. The Act applies to pipelines on land, which includes the foreshore (between low and high water marks) and partially enclosed areas of the sea such as bays, estuaries and harbours.
The Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 These Regulations revoke and replace the Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. They have been made to implement Directive 2011/92/EU in respect of the new two-tier planning system under the Planning (Northern Ireland) Act 2011. These Regulations came into force on 1 April 2015.
The Town and Country Planning(Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 These Regulations, came into force on 6th April 2015, for England only and amend the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011, raising and amending the thresholds at which certain types of development project will need to be screened in order to determine whether an environmental impact assessment is required under Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (for England and Wales) An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to town and country planning (excluding special controls in respect of buildings and areas of special architectural or historic interest and in respect of hazardous substances) development of land in England and Wales with amendments to give effect to the recommendations of the Law Commission. This Act received Royal Assent in 1990.
Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 Pipelines not falling under the requirements of the Pipelines Act 1962 or the Gas Act 1986, may still require an EIA to be undertaken under general onshore planning regulations. Cited as the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999, these Regulations came into force on 14 March 1999.
Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessment) Regulations SI 2017/571 These Regulations apply mainly in England only although some Regulations in Part 11 apply to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They consolidate, with amendments, the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessment) Regulations 2011 and subsequent amendments.
Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017/102 These Regulations update and replace The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (SSI 2011/139) in order to implement paragraphs (1) to (15) of Article 1 of Directive 2014/52/EU (“the 2014 Directive”) which amends Directive 2011/92/EU (“the 2011 Directive”).
Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2017/567 These Regulations came into force on 16th May 2017 and apply to Wales  only.  They revoke and replace the  Town  and  Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Wales) Regulations SI 2016/58.
Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to town and country planning in Scotland with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Scottish Law Commission which came into force in 1997.