Consultation during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam

What are the consultation during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam? - Phi Truong (Ninh Thuan, Vietnam)

Consultation during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam (Internet image)

1. Responsibility for holding a consultation during environmental impact assessment (EIA) in Vietnam

According to point i, clause 1, Article 32 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, the consultation result is one of the main contents of an environmental impact assessment report (hereinafter referred to as “EIAR”) include:

Responsibilities for consultation in environmental impact assessment are specified as follows:

- Investment project owners must consult the subjects specified in Section 2 below, and are encouraged to consult experts in the process of carrying out environmental impact assessment;

- Agencies and organizations specified in Section 2 below shall reply in writing to the investment project owner about the consulted contents within the prescribed time limit; in case the prescribed time limit expires without a written reply, it is considered to be in agreement with the consultation contents.

(Clause 2, Article 33 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020)

2. Consultation during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam

Consultation during EIA according to the provisions of Clause 1, Article 26 of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP include:

- Residential communities and individuals under direct environmental impact of the investment project activities, including:

+ Residential communities, individuals living and carrying out business operations on land, water surface or land with water surface, sea area occupied for investment in projects;

+ Residential communities and individuals under direct impact of wastewater, emissions, dust, noise, solid waste and hazardous waste caused by projects; communities and individuals affected by subsidence, landslides, riverbank and coastal sedimentation caused by projects;

+ Other affected residential communities and individuals identified during EIA.

Consultation with residential communities and individuals under direct impact shall be conducted by holding a meeting to seek opinions;

- Agencies and organizations directly related to investment projects, including:

+ Communal People’s Committees, Vietnamese Fatherland Front Committee of communes where the projects are executed;

+ Management boards or investors in construction and commercial operation of infrastructure of dedicated areas for production, business operation and service provision and industrial clusters located in the boundaries under their management;

+ Regulatory bodies managing hydraulic structure with respect to projects discharging wastewater to hydraulic structure or appropriating hydraulic structure;

+ Regulatory bodies assigned to manage areas with environmentally sensitive factors (if any);

+ Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Public Security or provincial Military Command, provincial Police with respect to national security and defense-related projects (if any).

Consultation with agencies and organizations directly related to investment projects shall be held in writing.

3. Content of consultation during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam

Pursuant to Clause 3, Article 33 of the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, the contents of a consultation consist of:

- Location of the investment project;

- Environmental impacts of the investment project;

- Measures to reduce adverse environmental impacts;

- Environmental management and supervision program; environmental emergency prevention and response scheme;

- Other contents related to the investment projec including plans for environmental improvement and remediation for mineral mining projects or waste burial projects and biodiversity offsets schemes for projects having biodiversity offsets schemes as prescribed by law.

(Clause 2, Article 26 of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP)

4. Consultation methods during environmental impact assessment in Vietnam

Consultation methods during environmental impact assessment as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 26 of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP include:

(1) Holding a consultation by publishing its contents on website:

- Before submitting an EIA report (EIAR) to a competent authority for appraisal, the project owner shall send contents of EIAR consultation specified in Section 3 to the website manager of the authority appraising the EIAR to consult the consultees specified in Section 2, except for information classified as state secrets and secrets of enterprises as prescribed by law.

- Within 05 days from the date of receiving the project owner’s request for publishing consultation contents, the appraising authority’s website manager shall publish contents of the consultation.

- The consultation shall be conducted within 15 days; upon expiry of the time limit for consultation, the website manager shall send consultation results to the project owner;

(2) Holding a consultation by organizing a meeting to seek opinions:

- The project owner shall preside over and cooperate with the People’s Committee of the commune where the project is executed in posting the EIAR at the communal People’s Committee and notifying time and place of the meeting intended to seek opinions of the consultees specified in Section 2 at least 05 days before the meeting.

- The communal People’s Committee shall post the EIAR from the date of receiving the EIAR to the end of the meeting.

- The project owner shall present contents of the EIAR at the consultation meeting.

- Opinions of the attendees, feedback and commitment of the project owner must be sufficiently and truthfully presented in the consultation meeting according to the form prescribed by MONRE;

(3) Holding a written consultation:

The project owner shall send the EIAR of the project to the consultees as specified in point b clause 1 of this Article enclosed with the consultation document prepared using the form in the Appendix VI of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP

The consultees shall give their written response according to the form in the Appendix VII of Decree 08/2022/ND-CP within 15 days from the date of receiving the consultation document. In case no response is given within the prescribed time limit, it is considered that such consultees agree to the consultation contents.

Van Trong

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