Procedure for seeking an Environmental Clearance (EC)

1. Check if the project requires EC

  1. If the proposed project is on the ‘list of activities not requiring EC 2016 then the activity will not be subjected to Environmental Assessment (EA) process. However, exempted activities must obtain approvals/clearances/development consents from concerned agencies as required under relevant Legislation.
  2. If the proposed project is not on the ‘list of activities not requiring EC’, then it will be subjected to the EA process.

2. The proposed project requiring EC will be subjected to Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) or rapid Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) / detailed EIA

a. For projects subjected to IEE, the following shall apply:

  • Check Here whether specific IEE form is available for the proposed project. If yes, fill up those IEE forms. If no, fill up IEE form for General Projects 2017.
  • Submit duly filled IEE form along with relevant clearances to the concerned Competent Authorities (CAs) for review and assessment for listed projects or forward the application to the relevant CAs or to the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) if not listed under their competency.

b. For projects subjected to rapid EIA or detailed EIA, the following shall apply:

  • An applicant submits the draft terms of reference (TOR) to the concerned CA for review and assessment.
  • CA must forward the draft TOR to the NECS for endorsement.
  • The NECS will issue the endorsed TOR to the applicant and share a copy with the CA.
  • Based on the TOR endorsed by NECS, the applicant will prepare either rapid EIA or a detailed EIA report.
  • The applicant will submit the EIA report to the CA. The CA will forward the EIA report to the NECS for review and assessment.

3. Assessment and Review of applications by CAs/NECS:

  • Administrative staff or officer will review completeness of the application as per the checklist for processing Environmental Clearance and Renewal.
  • If the documents submitted are not in line with the checklist, communicate in writing to the applicant.
  • If the documents submitted are in line with the checklist, remit application fees as per the Fee schedules to cover the cost of Administering the Environmental Assessment Act 2000 to the Accounts/Revenue Section who will issue Revenue Money Receipt (RMR).
  • Submit a copy of RMR along with the application to CA/NECS.
  • Administrative staff or officer will acknowledge the receipt of an application within 2 working days from the receipt of an application.
  • Administrative staff or officers will maintain record of the application/project.
  • Concerned officer will assign the application to a reviewing officer.
  • Projects subjected to EIA, the reviewing officer in consultation with the Head of the Environment Assessment and Compliance Division (EACD) will make a public announcement through official webpage for one month for public comments.
  • The reviewing officer shall declare conflict of interest, if any.
  • Reviewing officer will assess the application as per Chapter III of Regulation for Environmental Clearance of Projects (RECOP) 2016, as follows:
  • Review the application as per the reviewer’s guideline 
  • Conduct site visit. Secretariat may also request relevant CA to conduct site visit where appropriate.
  • Seek additional information. If applicant request clarification on the additional information, provide clarification/assistance in person/or electronically. Concerned officer will verify and sign the letter seeking the additional information.
  • The applicant shall ensure that the additional information sought is submitted within three months for projects not subjected to EIA and one year for projects subjected to EIA from the date of request for additional information.
  • The reviewing officer will update on the status of the application.
  • Upon completion of review process, the reviewing officer shall submit the application for decision.

4. Decision on EC by NECS

  • The Chief, EACD will prepare an agenda for the Environment Assessment and Technical Committee (EATC) meeting.
  • The reviewing officer will prepare EATC paper as per the EATC form and present to the EATC.
  • The EATC will make a decision to issue/reject EC or subject the application for further studies and review.
  • To make a decision on the application, a minimum quorum of two-third of its total members is required.
  • The EACD will maintain minutes of the EATC meeting inclusive of project details, EATC decision and follow up action.
  • For those projects which are subjected to EIA, public announcement will be made as per Section 28 of the EA Act 2000.
  • Communicate the decision of the EATC to the applicant:
  • If EC is approved, reviewing officer will seek legal undertaking from the applicant within seven working days from the date of decision. Also, provide update to administrative staff on the status of the application.
    • If legal undertaking is received within seven days, issue EC.
    • If legal undertaking is not submitted within the deadline, the application will be referred back to the EATC for directive.
  • Any appeal regarding decision on EC may be dealt in line with section 86 of RECOP, 2016.
  • The EATC may subject those projects submitted using IEE forms to rapid EIA or detailed EIA. In such case, the applicant shall follow Step 2 (b) above.

5. After issuance of EC (NECS)

  • Hand over project file/application file to administrative staff for further action (updating EC register, record keeping and archiving).
  • EACD shall prepare/develop monitoring plan and accordingly conduct compliance monitoring of the projects. Tour reports from the compliance monitoring will be verified by Chief and filed by administrative staff.
  • In case of non-compliance or violations, take the following actions as per Chapter VII of RECOP 2016:
    • Compliance agreement.
    • Levy penalty.
    • Other sanctions.
    • Collect reports of Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP), Contingency Plan, Self-monitoring report, and emission reports from holders annually unless specified otherwise.
    • Holder shall fulfill reporting requirements as per EC and relevant provisions of the Environmental Legislations.
    • Holder shall appoint Environmental Focal Person and inform NECS accordingly.
    • Holder shall conduct selfmonitoring as per the section 59 of RECOP, 2016 and report as per format issued by NECS or CAs.
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