Reforms made to ease the process of Environmental Clearance

In keeping with the objective of easing the environment assessment process and for efficient and timely delivery of the public services, the NECS made reforms on EC process as follows:

1. Simplification of Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) Forms:

As of 2012, there were 8 IEE forms consisting of 10 pages each. Currently, the IEE forms were revised and now there are 9 IEE forms that are about 4 pages each.

2. Repeal of 12 and 13 of Regulation for Environmental Clearance of Projects (RECOP) 2016:

As per RECOP 2016, Dzongkhag/Thromde Administrative approval along with clearances from relevant agencies were required to be submitted along with application for EC. Further, official clearances from the concerned agencies were required for a proposed project whose location was within 50 meters of a public park, hospital, etc. However, these sections of the regulation are repealed as the nature of the administrative approvals is similar to the development consent that follows the issuance of EC and as other sectorial clearances are taken care of by various concerned agencies.

3. Categorization/classification of projects into colour coded lists:

With the categorization of projects, the projects are classified into green, blue and red categories.

The projects under the green category are those with minimal/negligible environmental impact and such projects will not require to follow the EA process thus exempted from the EC requirement. Over the years, the list under the green category has increased from 44 in 2002 to 99 in 2016 and 126 in 2020.

Projects under blue category are those with minimum impact on the environment, and assessment will be carried out at IEE level.

Projects under red category are those with major impact on the environment, and they will require detailed study i.e Environmental Impact Assessment study. The current categorization of projects has minimal number of projects under the red category.

4. EA form for red category projects 2020: Industrial projects

Majority of the applications received by the Secretariat under the red category are industrial projects. In order to streamline the Environmental Assessment process and also to minimize the bureaucratic burden of the current practice, the Secretariat has formulated EA Form for Red Category Industrial Projects. The EA form will save time taken in submission and endorsement of ToR whereby applicants can submit the duly filled form to the Secretariat.

In its continuous effort to improve public service delivery, NECS is also in the process of further revising the IEE forms, Terms of Reference (ToR) for projects requiring Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), EC terms and conditions, categorization of projects for EA process, Environmental Standard and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for new EC and renewal of EC.

For more information and further clarification, contact Environment Assessment and Compliance Division of the NECS.

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