On Thursday, February 25, the Sejm adopted an amendment to the acts on the provision of information on the environment and its protection, public participation in environmental protection and on environmental impact assessments. The deputies took into account only the amendments proposed in the second reading by PiS. The bill will now go to the Senate.
The Sejm rejected the motion to reject the bill in its entirety and all 18 amendments proposed in the second reading, which additionally had a negative recommendation from the Environmental Protection Committee. The Sejm introduced three more editorial and legislative amendments to the government’s bill proposed in the second reading by the PiS club.
The rejected amendments concerned, inter alia, the issue of making environmental decisions available on the BIP. The amendment to delete the provision specifying the procedure for sharing the documentation of cases published for 14 days in the BIP has also been lost – for a fee, within a 30-day period and with the possibility of refusal. The package of amendments was also rejected, which – according to the authors – were to lead to strengthening the judicial control of decisions issued under special acts. According to the government, they would introduce legal uncertainty and too broad possibilities of blocking investments.
The government believes that the draft sufficiently implements the EIA Directive and was created as a result of a dialogue with the European Commission, and the new regulations increase the rights of the parties to the proceedings and environmental organizations in the investment processes of projects that may have a significant impact on the environment. The new provisions will apply irrespective of the provisions of individual acts – including special acts – concerning the issuing and filing of investment permits. The Act also provides for changes to the restrictions existing in special acts as regards the possibility of annulment of investment decisions.