What is an Environmental license? Who must have an Environmental license in Vietnam?

Along with economic development, the environment is adversely affected by humans and is increasingly threatened. Therefore, to ensure sustainable development in both economic and social terms, the law has provided for environmental permits for a number of activities that are harmful to the environment. So what is an environmental license? Who must have an environmental license in Vietnam?

What is an Environmental license? Who must have an Environmental license in Vietnam? (Illustration)

1. What is an Environmental license?

“Environmental license” means a document issued by a competent authority to an organization or individual (hereinafter referred to as “entity”) involved in business activities, permitting such organization or individual to discharge waste into the environment and manage waste and scrap imported from foreign countries as production materials in accordance with environmental protection requirements as prescribed by law. (according to Clause 8, Article 3 of Vietnam's Law on Environmental Protection 2020).

2. Who must have an Environmental license?

Article 39 of Vietnam's Law on Environmental Protection 2020 stipulates that the subjects that must have an environmental permit include:

- Group I, II and III projects that generate wastewater, dusts and exhaust gases that must be treated into the environment or generate hazardous waste that must be managed in accordance with regulations on waste management before officially being put into operation.

(If the projects mentioned are urgent public investment projects as prescribed by the Law on Public Investment, they are exempt from the environmental license.)

- Investment projects, dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters operating before January 1, 2022 with the same environmental criteria as those of Group I, II and III projects that generate wastewater, dusts and exhaust gases that must be treated into the environment or generate hazardous waste that must be managed.

 

3. What are the Contents of environmental license?

- Contents of an environmental license include general information about the investment project, business, dedicated area for production, business operation and service provision or industrial cluster; items to be licensed; environmental protection requirements; validity period; other contents (if any).

- Items to be licensed include:

+ Source of wastewater; maximum wastewater flow rate; wastewater flow; pollutants and permissible limits of pollutants in the wastewater flow; location and method of wastewater discharge and wastewater receiving bodies;

+ Source of emissions; maximum exhaust gas flow rate; wastewater flow; pollutants and permissible limits of pollutants in the emissions flow; location and method of exhaust gas discharge;

+ Source and permissible limits of noise and vibration;

+ Works and system for hazardous waste treatment; hazardous waste code and quantity of waste permitted for treatment, quantity of hazardous waste transfer stations, operating area with regard to the investment project, hazardous waste treatment service providers;

+ Type and quantity of scrap permitted for import with regard to the investment project, establishments importing scrap from foreign countries as production materials

(Clause 1, Clause 2, Article 40 of Vietnam's Law on Environmental Protection 2020)

4. How long shall the environmental license be valid for?

The environmental license shall be valid for:

- 07 years, regarding group I investment projects;

- 07 years, regarding businesses, dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters operating before the effective date of this Law and applying environmental criteria as Group I investment projects;

- 10 years, regarding the license holders;

- The validity period may be shorter than that specified in Points a, b and c of this Clause at the request of the investment project owners, businesses, investors in construction and commercial operation of infrastructure in dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters (hereinafter collectively referred to as “investment project/business owners”).

(Clause 4, Article 40 of Vietnam's Law on Environmental Protection 2020)

Bao Ngoc

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