On 21st May 2021, the Government promulgated Decree No. 54/2021/ NĐ-CP detailing the preliminary environmental impact assessment (EIA). This Decree takes effect from the date of signing and annuls Article 12 of the Government’s Decree No. 40/2019/NĐ-CP dated 6th April 2020 detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Public Investment.
Accordingly, Decree No. 54/2021/NĐCP applies to agencies, organizations and individuals participating in or related to investment, public investment and publicprivate partnership investment, construction investment activities and issuance of investment registration certificates, except for the issuance of investment registration certificates at the request of investors.
Subjects that need to carry out preliminary EIA include investment projects subject to the preparation of EIA reports specified in Appendix II, Section I, Appendix issued together with the Government’s Decree No. 40/2019/ NĐ-CP dated 13th May 2019 amending and supplementing a number of articles of the decrees detailing and guiding the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection in one of the following cases: Public investment projects (except for urgent public investment projects, projects under national target programs, component projects of projects for which investment policies have been decided by competent authorities, investment preparation tasks, planning tasks); Publicprivate partnership investment projects (PPP projects); Investment projects subject to approval of investment policies in accordance with the legal provisions on investment; Investment projects subject to issuance of investment registration certificates, except for the issuance of investment registration certificates at the request of investors.
Regarding the content of the preliminary EIA, subjects that must carry out the preliminary EIA shall carry out the following contents, including: Assessment of the suitability of the location of the investment project with the National Strategy on Environmental Protection, the National Master Plan on Environmental Protection, the content of environmental protection in regional planning, provincial planning and other relevant plannings; Identification and forecast of the main environmental impacts of investment projects on the environment on the basis of scale, production technology and location of the project; Identification of environmentally sensitive factors of the area where the investment project is implemented according to the location options (if any); Analysis, assessment and selection of options on scale, production technology, waste treatment technology, location of investment project implementation and measures to minimize environmental impacts; Identification of the main environmental issues and scope of environmental impacts that need to be kept in mind during the implementation of the EIA.
Agencies, organizations and individuals that propose investment projects specified in Clause 1, Article 3 of this Decree shall carry out preliminary EIA during the preparation of pre-feasibility study report, investment policy proposal report, application for approval of investment policy, application for an investment registration certificate. The content of the preliminary EIA shall be considered by the competent authority at the same time as the appraisal of the application for decision or approval of the investment policy of the project and the issuance of the investment registration certificate according to the legal provisions on public investment, PPP investment, investment and construction.
Decree No. 54/2021/NĐ-CP also stipulates that an investment project that has EIA report been appraised by a competent authority before the effective date of this Decree with results are approved without amendment and supplementation and the investment project that has EIA report been approved by a competent authority before the effective date of this Decree, the preliminary EIA is not required. An investment project that has carried out preliminary EIA and is approved by a competent authority for investment policy is not required to carry out preliminary EIA when applying for an investment registration certificate. As for a public-private partnership investment project that the competent authority has received the investment policy decision dossier before 1st January, 2021 and the project that has had the EIA report according to legal provisions on environmental protection shall continue to comply with legal provisions at the time of receipt. In case a PPP investment project that has investment policy decision dossier been received by a competent authority before 1st January, 2021 but has not yet had an EIA report, shall implement in accordance with legal provisions on investment in the form of PPP, the Law on Public Investment.
(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition II - 2021)