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New EIA Directive

The European Parliament and Council have published a new consolidated version of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 2011/92/EU of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (codification). This can be found at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:026:0001:0021:EN:PDF

It was published in the OJ on 28 January 2012 and comes into force 20 days thereafter: see Article 15. It therefore comes into force this week. The Directive consolidates changes made to Directive 85/337/EEC by Directive 97/11/EC; Directive 2003/35/EC and Directive 2009/31/EC. Recital (1) says that it is “In the interests of clarity and rationality the said Directive should be codified”. For many of us it means getting used to new Article numbers. Thus:

• Article 1(5) on EIA via legislative processes is now Article 1(4);

• Article 15a on access to justice in Article 16.