For a new project, please follow through the following steps:
- Refer to the Annex 2 of the Regulation on the Environmental Clearance of Projects
- Check whether your proposed activity or project is listed under Annex 2. If it is listed, see under which Competent Authority (CA). EC for activities listed under the various CAs are issued by the CA themselves
- Annex 2 also lists activities that do not require EC at all. Such activities only require trade licenses or permits from the appropriate agencies
- If your proposed activity or project is not listed in Annex 2 of the Regulation, submit your application through the CA, if designated, to the National Environment Commission (NEC) for EC.
- Check whether your proposed activity or project is included in one of the eight sectoral EA guidelines published by the NEC. The NEC has published eight EA Sectoral guidelines which are available here. They are also available at the offices of the CA and the NEC
- Even if the NEC has not yet published an EA sectoral guideline for your proposed activity or project, it is advisable to refer to one of the published guidelines as the environmental information that needs to be submitted for most of the projects is similar and varies only slightly depending on site conditions and production processes. Therefore, it is recommended that you refer to another sectoral guideline while preparing your application for EC
- Once you have the EA sectoral guideline for your proposal, read the instructions very carefully
- After you have understood the requirements, start collecting information accordingly
- The information collected should be used to fill in the requirements stated in the guideline. This will form your application. While following the guideline, should you have any doubts or need any further clarifications, please contact the EA section, NEC
Application (entry into EA process)
- The complete application must be submitted to the CA or to the NEC
- At this stage, your application must have all NOCs, agreements, or any other relevant documents enclosed
- The CA upon receiving an application shall either acknowledge receipt of your application or forward the same to the NEC within two weeks
- If the application received for an activity is listed under the CA’s Competency, then, the CA shall start reviewing the application after acknowledgement of receipt has been made. If the application does not contain all the required information on the proposed project or the activity, the CA may seek further clarification or additional information
- If the application received for an activity is not listed under the CA’s Competency, the CA will forward the application to NEC for EC. The CA shall ensure that all required information is complete before forwarding the application to NEC for EC
- For activities not falling within the demarcated industrial estate or area, a site visit by the CA must be made to ensure that all information submitted are accurate and that impacts reflected/foreseen by the applicant are correct.
After the CA is satisfied that all required information is complete, the following decisions can be made:
- Forward the application to the NEC
- Issue an environmental clearance
- Subject the proposal to further studies
- Reject the proposal
National Environment Commission
The NEC receives applications either from the CAs or directly from the applicants, depending on Annex 2 of the Regulation. The NEC acknowledges the receipt of the application within two weeks.
The NEC starts reviewing applications as per the applicable time limits specified under Annex 1 of the Regulation (The applicable time limits is also attached as Annex 1 in this Manual). The NEC checks if all pertinent information is included in the application. While reviewing applications, some of the important parameters that the NEC focuses on are:
- Additional information: if information is inadequate, the NEC seeks additional information. The NEC, at times, also seeks clarifications on the information contained in the application, if it is not clear or conclusive
- Public consultation: has adequate attention been paid to the affected individuals, agencies, groups or communities. Has the applicant enclosed enough evidences in the form of an agreement(s) or NOCs? For further details on public consultation, refer to any of the eight sectoral EA guidelines
- Site visit: once all the required information and documents are submitted, the NEC deputes a team to conduct a site visit of the proposed project. If more than one agency is involved, then, it is the responsibility of the applicant to coordinate the timing of the site visit
Screening involves making a preliminary determination of the expected impact of a proposed project on the environment. The NEC screens the proposed project based on the associated impacts to determine whether a proposed project would require an EA.
The NEC may arrive at one of the following decisions after screening the project:
- Issue EC
- Subject the application to further studies
- Reject application
Subject the application to further studies
If the decision is to subject the proposal to further studies, then the applicant will be asked to conduct a full EA. In case of any proposed project requiring a full EA, the applicant must submit a draft TOR to the NEC for approval. The applicant must conduct the EA studies as per the approved TOR. After the EA report is completed, it is submitted to NEC for review. The result of the review may be:
- Ask for additional information or for clarifications on aspects of the study
- Issues EC
- Reject application
The NEC publishes, through a recognized media, the decision to issue or reject the EC with justifications. After publication of such decision, the public has a month to react, comment or appeal on the decision. If no appeal is made, the NEC goes ahead with its decision.
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