Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process for the Black Sea Basin (BSB) European Neighbourhood Instrument Cross Border Cooperation (ENI CBC) programme 2014-2020
Note by the Managing Authority to be published on the screening conclusions and the reasons for not requiring an environmental assessment
(in accordance with art.3.7 of SEA Directive)
The requirement to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is based on Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, the Romanian Government Decision 1076/2004 establishing a procedure for the environmental assessment of plans and programmes and article 4.5h of the CBC Implementing Regulation (897/2014) governing the preparation and implementation of ENI CBC programmes.
In addition, the EC Guidance Note on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in the context of ENI CBC stipulates “the designated environmental authorities in the countries participating in the programme must be consulted to determine whether the programme will have significant environmental effects”.
The decision on whether a full SEA is required for the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme was made based on a screening procedure involving all participating countries conducted by the programme Managing Authority, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration in Romania, with assistance from the EU technical assistance project, Support for the Preparation of Programmes (SPP).
The priorities and indicative activities of the programme were examined by the SEA expert according to the screening criteria outlined in Annex ll of the SEA Directive. The expert concluded that the Black Sea CBC programme 2014-2020 is not likely to have a significant effect on the environment for the following reasons:
· The programme allocates financing & sets the framework for primarily ’soft’ type of projects with limited investments in e.g. equipment;
· It will not directly influence other plans and programmes;
· The integration of environmental considerations in projects is stipulated in the JOP;
· No environmental problems relevant to the programme have been identified;
· There is no direct relevance for the implementation of Community legislation on the environment;
· No direct or cumulative effects on environment are expected, while some indirect positive impacts are estimated in the whole programme area affecting the entire population;
· ENI CBC promotes cooperation across the borders, however, no direct trans-boundary environmental effects are expected;
· No risks to human health or the environment have been identified e.g. due to accidents;
· An indirect positive impact is estimated in whole programme area affecting the entire population;
· Vulnerable areas will not be directly affected & no direct effects are expected on areas or landscapes which have a recognised national, Community or international protection status.
The Romanian Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests was responsible for deciding whether the programme will have a significant environmental impact on the programme eligible area in Romania (South East Region) based on a screening procedure held in December 2014 – January 2015.
Consultations with the environmental authorities in the participating countries took place from November 2014 – May 2015. Environmental authorities in participating countries are: Armenia – Ministry of Nature Protection; Azerbaijan – Ministry of Ecology and Natural Recourses, Bulgaria – Ministry of Environment and Water; Georgia – Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; Greece – Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change; Republic of Moldova – Ministry of Environment; Turkey – Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation; Ukraine – Ministry of Environment.
The environmental authorities were asked for their expert opinion, according to their own national procedures, on whether the programme is likely to have a significant environmental effect in the eligible regions in their countries. The conclusions of these consultations are given in the table below.
“As a consequence, according with the provisions of art. 3 par.(7) of the SEA Directive, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests decides that environmental assessment is not required pursuant to art.5 of the SEA Directive for the ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020.”
Georgia & R. Moldova
|Based on internal consultations and own assessments according to their national procedures, and the assessment by the SEA expert, the environmental authorities have concluded that the Black Sea CBC programme 2014-2020 is not likely to have a significant effect on the environment in the regions in their countries eligible for the programme and that no further action is required at national level.
The Ministry of Environment and Water has concluded that, “according to the relevant legal provisions, environmental assessment is not required for the Bulgarian NUTS II regions included in the eligible area of the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC Programme 2014-2020, the implementation of which is unlikely to have a significant negative impact on the environment and human health.” The decision was made based on two conditions related to environmental impact assessment where necessary and good water status and management of flood risk. These conditions have been included in the SEA report and reflected in the relevant part of the programme strategy.
|”Consequently, for the above mentioned Programme a Strategic Environmental Assessment or an ex-ante environmental control is not required.”
|Turkey & Ukraine
|A SEA assessment was not performed as according to current legislation in these countries, SEA is not required. Draft SEA legislation has been developed but is not yet in force.
Therefore it is concluded that the regulatory requirements of the SEA directive have been fulfilled in the case of the Black Sea Basin ENI CBC programme, in accordance with national legislation and the guidance on the subject provided by the EC. The nominated environmental authorities in the participating countries have been consulted and it is agreed that a full SEA is not required.