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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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The translation of this document is outdated.
Translation validity: 03.07.2014.–31.12.2015.
Amendments not included: 30.11.2015., 23.11.2016., 17.05.2018.
Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

30 May 2001 [shall come into force from 27 June 2001];
19 June 2003 [shall come into force from 24 July 2003];
26 February 2004 [shall come into force from 26 March 2004];
15 September 2005 [shall come into force from 12 October 2005];
7 June 2007 [shall come into force from 11 July 2007];
10 June 2010 [shall come into force from 14 July 2010];
16 December 2010 [shall come into force from 1 January 2011];
1 December 2011 [shall come into force from 28 December 2011];
5 June 2014 [shall come into force from 3 July 2014].

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.

The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following Law:

On Environmental Impact Assessment

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. Terms Used in this Law

The following terms are used in this Law:

1) environmental impact - direct or indirect changes in the environment caused by the implementation of an intended activity or a planning document which have an impact or may have an impact on a human being, the health and safety thereof, as well as biological diversity, soil, air, water, climate, landscape, material values, cultural and natural heritage and the interaction of all referred to areas;

2) environmental impact assessment (hereinafter also - impact assessment) - the procedures to be performed in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Law in order to assess the possible impact of the implementation of intended activities or a planning document on the environment and to develop proposals for the prevention or decrease of negative effects or to prohibit the initiation of an intended activity in cases of the violation of the requirements laid down in laws and regulations;

21) initial impact assessment (hereinafter also - initial assessment) - the procedures to be performed in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Law for an intended activity, which may have a substantial impact on the environment, in order to assess the significance of the potential negative impact of such activity and to decide on application of impact assessment;

3) intended activity - the introduction, supplement or substitution of instrumentation, equipment and technology, implementation of projects, construction, the extraction or utilisation of natural resources, the impact of human activities in natural or little transformed territories and landscapes, as well as other activities the performance or outcome of which may have a substantial impact on the environment;

4) an initiator - a private person, derived public person, and direct or intermediate administrative institution, which is prepared to perform an intended activity and has submitted an application to a competent authority regarding the performance of the relevant activity;

5) transboundary impact - any impact caused by an intended activity in a territory which is subjected to the jurisdiction of the affected state, if the physical cause of this impact is fully or partially located in a territory which is under the jurisdiction of Latvia or another state;

6) strategic environmental impact assessment (hereinafter also - strategic assessment) - an environmental impact assessment for a planning document, the implementation of which may have a substantial impact on the environment, as well as the preparation and discussing of an environmental review, the involving of the public in the discussion of the environmental review and the performing of consultations, the taking into account of the results of the environmental review and the discussion thereof in the preparation of the planning document and the utilisation thereof for the taking of decisions, as well as the provision of information regarding the decision taken in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Law; and

7) environmental review - a separate chapter in a strategy, plan, programme, concept or other type of planning document (hereinafter - planning documents) to which the provisions of this Law apply, or a separate document which determines, describes and assesses the impact of the implementation of the relevant document, as well as of possible alternatives, on the environment, taking into account the goals, intended location of implementation and the area of activities of the planning document.

[30 May 2001, 19 June 2003; 26 February 2004; 7 June 2007; 10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

Section 2. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is to prevent or reduce the negative impact of the implementation of the intended activities of natural persons and legal persons or of a planning document thereof on the environment.

[19 June 2003]

Section 3. Principles of Impact Assessment

Impact assessment shall be performed in accordance with the following principles:

1) impact assessment shall be performed in as early a stage as possible of the planning, designing and taking of decisions of an intended activity;

2) impact assessment shall be performed on the basis of the information provided by the initiator and the information which has been obtained from the concerned State authorities and local governments, as well as during the participation process of the public including from the proposals submitted by the public;

3) [15 September 2005];

4) the public - natural persons and legal persons, as well as associations, organisations and groups (hereinafter - the public) has the right to obtain information regarding intended activities and to participate in impact assessment;

41) an initiator shall ensure public discussion of the impact assessment of an intended activity at a publicly accessible place and time;

5) the solving of environmental problems shall be initiated before complete scientific evidence regarding the negative impact of an intended activity on the environment has been received. If there is cause for suspicion that an intended activity may have a negative impact on the environment, precautionary measures shall be taken;

6) assessment shall be performed, taking into account the principle of sustainable development, the principle of "the polluter pays", and the precautionary and evaluation principle;

7) it is prohibited to divide the intended activity, which has or may have substantial impact on the environment, into several activities, because thus the joint impact of the intended activity is not assessed properly.

[30 May 2001; 19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

Section 3.1 Time Periods of the Impact Assessment Process

[10 June 2010]

Section 3.2 Necessity of Initial Assessment

(1) Initial assessment shall be required:

1) for the intended activities referred to in Annex 2 to this Law;

2) for the intended activities, which may have substantial impact on the territories referred to in Section 4.1 of this Law;

3) for changes in the existing activities:

a) if changes conform to the border values referred to in Annex 2 to this Law,

b) if as a result of changes the border values referred to in Annex 2 to this Law are reached or exceeded and the extent of changes is 25 per cent of the abovementioned border value or more,

c) if other changes in the accepted, current or completed activities, which are related to the objects referred to in Annexes 1 and 2 to this Law, may cause substantial unfavourable impact on the environment;

4) for several similar intended activities, which affect the same territory and as a result of changes in which the border values referred to in Annex 1 or 2 to this Law will be achieved in sum total;

5) for other intended activities, which may have substantial impact on the environment, taking into account the criteria referred to in Section 11 of this Law.

(2) Upon evaluating the extent of changes in activities in accordance with Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Section, the sum of changes carried out during the last five years or the sum of planned changes which have been carried out since completing the previous initial assessment shall be taken into account.

[5 June 2014]

Section 4. Necessity of Impact Assessment

(1) Impact assessment shall be required:

1) for intended activities which are related to the objects referred to in Annex 1 to this Law;

2) for intended activities according to the initial assessment;

3) for intended activities according to international agreements entered into by the Republic of Latvia;

4) for intended activities if several intended activities have an impact on the same territory, taking into account the joint and reciprocal impact of such activities;

5) for changes in the current activities;

a) if changes conform to the border values referred to in Annex 1 to this Law,

b) if as a result of changes the border values referred to in Annex 1 to this Law are reached or exceeded,

c) if changes are intended in the object referred to in Annex 1 to this Law, for which an impact assessment has not been performed hitherto, and the extent of changes is 50 per cent of the border value referred to in Annex 1 to this Law.

(2) [5 June 2014]

(21) [5 June 2014]

(3) A strategic assessment shall, in accordance with laws and regulations or other provisions, be performed for planning documents, as well as for such documents related to the utilisation of European Union co-financing and the amendments thereof if the relevant planning documents are developed or adopted by the Saeima, the Cabinet, a local government, a State local government authority, another derived public person or another entity which is delegated a State administration task or management of the State property:

1) in the area of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, industry, transport, waste management, management of water resources, telecommunications, tourism, extraction of mineral resources and for the planning documents which are related to regional development, land utilisation, territorial planning and include the basic requirements for implementation of the intended activities provided for in Annex 1 or 2 to this Law;

2) which may have a substantial impact upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), except for planning documents, which determine the requirements for nature protection and management and the measures in relation to such territories.

(4) Strategic assessment shall be performed for planning documents in areas which are not referred to in Paragraph three, Clause 1 of this Section if they include the basic requirements for the implementation of intended activities and the implementation of planning documents may have a substantial impact on the environment.

(5) Strategic assessment of the planning documents referred to in Paragraph three of this Section which are related to the utilisation of small territories on the local government level, as well as for small amendments of the planning documents referred to in Paragraph three of this Section shall not be performed, except for cases where the implementation of such documents may have a substantial impact on the environment.

(6) The provisions of this Law shall not apply to:

1) planning documents, which are exclusively related to national defence;

2) the planning documents which are exclusively related to emergency situations;

3) planning documents in the area of finances or the budget.

(7) The Cabinet in issuing an individual order need not apply an impact assessment to an intended activity, which is related to State defence if the application of the impact assessment procedures may undesirably influence the achievement of the goals of the intended activity.

[30 May 2001, 19 June 2003; 26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 7 June 2007; 10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

4.1 Intended Activities in Areas of Natural Sensitivity of European Significance (NATURA 2000)

(1) If the intended activity the implementation of which in accordance with the decision of the competent authority referred to in Section 6 of this Law may have a substantial impact upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), but are not referred to in Annex 1 to this Law and for the implementation of which an assessment need not be conducted in accordance with Section 14.1 of this Law, its impact upon the area of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) shall be assessed in accordance with procedures laid down separately.

(2) The separate procedures referred to in Paragraph one of this Section by which the impact of the intended activity upon the area of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) shall be assessed shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(3) If an impact assessment is performed for the intended activity and the implementation of such activity may significantly affect an area of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), an assessment shall be performed regarding the impact upon the area of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) and the assessment report shall include an environmental impact assessment statement (hereinafter - statement) in accordance with the procedures laid down in laws and regulations regarding impact assessment.

[15 September 2005; 7 June 2007; 10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

Section 5. Financing of Impact Assessment

The initiator of an intended activity shall finance the environmental impact assessment and initial impact assessment. Strategic environmental impact assessment shall be financed by the developer of a planning document (hereinafter - developer). In respect of the initial impact assessment, the initiator of an intended activity shall pay a State fee in the amount and according to the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet.

[22 February 2004; 7 June 2007]

Section 6. Co-ordination and Surveillance of Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental impact assessment shall be co-ordinated and supervised in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Law by a State administrative authority (hereinafter - the competent authority) established by the Cabinet, the by-law of which shall be approved by the Cabinet.

[19 June 2003]

Section 6.1 Time Periods of the Impact Assessment Process

(1) The State Environmental Service shall perform initial assessment of the impact within 20 days after receipt of the submission.

(2) If the State Environmental Service performs initial assessment of the impact, the competent authority shall take a decision to apply or not apply the environmental impact assessment for the intended activity within 20 days after receipt of the initial assessment results.

(3) The competent authority shall issue an impact assessment programme (hereinafter - programme) within 30 days after receipt of the request. If the competent authority requires information from the initiator, it shall extend the time period for issue of the programme for a time period within which the initiator has provided the information.

(4) The competent authority shall issue an opinion on a statement within 60 days after receipt of the statement. If the competent authority in accordance with Section 20, Paragraph two of this Law requests information from an initiator, the time period for provision of the opinion shall be extended for a time period within which the initiator has provided the information. If necessary the competent authority may extend the time period for provision of the opinion in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law, but not more than for one month.

(5) If for the implementation of the intended activity in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories it is necessary to obtain an opinion from the European Commission, the competent authority shall provide the opinion within 45 days after receipt of the European Commission opinion.

(6) The relevant State authority, local government or another authority determined by the law shall take a decision to accept the intended activity within 60 days after receipt of the documents of the initiator referred to in Section 22, Paragraph one of this Law.

[10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

Chapter II
Proposal of an Intended Activity

Section 7. Proposal of an Intended Activity to the Competent Authority

(1) The initiator shall propose the intended activity referred to in Section 4, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 3, 4 and 5 of this Law in the competent authority by submitting a written submission in which at least two different solutions regarding the location of the intended activity or the types of technologies to be used are indicated.

(2) If the intended activity may have a substantial impact upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), the initiator shall indicate in the proposal all the possible solutions in relation to the location of the intended activity and the types of technologies to be used.

[30 May 2001; 19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 5 June 2014]

Section 8. Proposal of an Intended Activity to the State Environmental Service

(1) The initiator shall propose the intended activity referred to in Section 3.2, Paragraph one of this Law to the relevant State Environmental Service by submitting a written submission in which at least two different solutions regarding the location of the intended activity or the types of technologies to be used are indicated.

(2) If the intended activity may have a substantial impact upon protected territories of European significance (NATURA 2000), the initiator shall indicate in the submission all the possible solutions in relation to the location of the intended activity and the types of technologies to be used.

[5 June 2014]

Section 8.1 Application for an Intended Activity to the State Environmental Service

[5 June 2014]

Section 9. Content of an Intended Activity Submission

The Cabinet shall determine the content of an intended activity submission.

[19 June 2003]

Chapter III
Initial Assessment of the Impact of an Intended Activity

Section 10. Intended Activities for which an Initial Impact Assessment is Required

In accordance with Section 8 of this Law, an initial assessment shall be performed for the intended activities proposed to the State Environmental Service in order to determine, on the basis of the criteria referred to in Section 11 of this Law, whether the relevant intended activities require an impact assessment.

[5 June 2014]

Section 11. Criteria for the Assessment of the Impact of an Intended Activity on the Environment

The impact of an intended activity on the environment shall be assessed according to the following criteria:

1) the factors characterising the intended activity:

a) the amount,

b) the mutual and total impact of the intended activities and other activities,

c) the utilisation of natural resources,

d) the occurrence of waste,

e) pollution and disturbances,

f) the risk of accidents (technologies or the substances to be used);

2) the factors characterising the location of the intended activity and the geographical properties of such location:

a) the previous method of land utilisation,

b) the relative amount, quality and regenerative capacity of natural resources in the relevant territory,

c) absorptive capacity of the natural environment, paying particular attention to territories covered by forests,

d) territories in which the level of pollution is higher than the level provided for in the norms for environmental quality,

e) the population density in the relevant territory,

f) landscapes of historical, archaeological and cultural and historical significance;

21) the impact of the intended activity on:

a) areas of natural sensitivity, wetlands of international significance, micro-reserves, the protective coastal zone of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Rīga, the protective zones around places for the taking of groundwater and the protective zones of surface water bodies,

b) specially protected species, and the habitats and specially protected biotopes thereof; and

3) the possible impact of the intended activity on the environment, which is assessed in accordance with the criteria laid down in Clauses 1, 2 and 2.1 of this Section and taking into account the following properties of the intended activity:

a) the amount (size of the territory subject to the impact and the number of human beings therein),

b) the possible transboundary impact,

c) the significance and complexity of the impact,

d) the probability of the impact,

e) the duration, frequency and reversibility of the impact.

[30 May 2001; 19 June 2003; 15 September 2005]

Section 12. Procedures for the Performance of the Initial Assessment

(1) The initial assessment shall be performed by the State Environmental Service.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures by which the initial assessment shall be performed.

(3) The State Environmental Service shall take a decision to refuse to perform the initial assessment, if the intended activity is prohibited by laws and regulations, except the following cases:

1) the intended activity does not conform to the spatial plan or detailed plan of the local government;

2) the Cabinet has issued an order in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories regarding that the intended activity is necessary in order to satisfy interests of importance to the society.

(4) The State Environmental Service shall take a decision to discontinue the initial assessment, if upon performing the initial assessment it determines that the intended activity is prohibited by laws and regulations, except the following cases:

1) the intended activity does not conform to the spatial plan or detailed plan of the local government;

2) the Cabinet has issued an order in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories regarding that the intended activity is necessary in order to satisfy interests of importance to the society.

(5) A decision of the State Environmental Service by which it refuses or discontinues the performance of the initial assessment, if the intended activity is prohibited by laws and regulations, may be contested at the competent authority. A decision of the competent authority may be appealed to the court.

[5 June 2014]

Section 13. Result of the Initial Assessment

(1) The State Environmental Service shall send the result of the initial assessment together with the information aggregated during assessment and a submission regarding the intended activity to the competent authority for taking of a decision.

(2) If according to the results of the initial assessment an impact assessment is not necessary for the intended activity, the State Environmental Service shall issue technical regulations in relation to each particular intended activity. Technical regulations shall be issued also in other cases, which are indicated in the Cabinet regulations referred to in Paragraph four of this Section.

(3) In the cases stipulated by the Cabinet the State Environmental Service may amend the environmental protection requirements throughout the term of operation of technical regulations.

(4) The Cabinet shall determine the intended activities, for the performance of which technical regulations are necessary, the requirements in relation to the content of technical regulations, the procedures for requesting and preparing them.

[ June 2014]

Chapter IV
Procedures for the Performance of an Impact Assessment

Section 14. Consultations with a Local Government Regarding the Intended Activity prior to the Performance of an Impact Assessment

(1) Prior to the performance of an impact assessment of the intended activity the initiator shall consult with the local government regarding the possibilities of implementing the intended activity in the territory of the local government. Consultations with the local government are not necessary for intended activities, which are related to the construction of transport and electronic communications networks and structures for transmission of energy or in relation to which the Cabinet has taken a decision on permission to initiate the activity (acceptance of the intended activity).

(2) The local government shall evaluate the possibilities of implementing the intended activity in its territory and, within 15 days after receipt of a written submission of the initiator, shall send its opinion thereto on the conformity of the intended activity with the spatial development planning documents of the local government.

[5 June 2014]

Section 14.1 Approval of the Necessity of an Impact Assessment

(1) If the competent authority takes a decision that an impact assessment of the intended activity is necessary, it shall notify the initiator and the interested State institutions, local governments and another institution laid down in the law in writing regarding initiation of an impact assessment, as well as insert a notification regarding the necessity of an environmental impact assessment on its website.

(2) A decision of the competent authority may be appealed in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Administrative Procedure Law.

(3) If the competent authority decides that an impact assessment of the intended activity is not necessary, it shall notify its decision to the initiator, the State Environmental Service, the interested State institutions, the local government, in the territory of which the intended activity is planned, and another institution laid down in the Law in writing, as well as insert a notification regarding non-application of an environmental impact assessment on its website.

(4) The competent authority shall take a decision to refuse to perform an impact assessment, if the intended activity is prohibited by laws and regulations, except the following cases:

1) the intended activity does not conform to the spatial plan or detailed plan of the local government;

2) the Cabinet has issued an order in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories regarding that the intended activity is necessary in order to satisfy interests of importance to the society.

(5) The competent authority shall take a decision to discontinue the impact assessment, if upon performing the impact assessment it determines that the intended activity is prohibited by laws and regulations, except the following cases:

1) the intended activity does not conform to the spatial plan or detailed plan of the local government;

2) the Cabinet has issued an order in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories regarding that the intended activity is necessary in order to satisfy interests of importance to the society.

(6) The decision of the competent authority referred to in Paragraphs four and five of this Section may be appealed to the court.

(7) The competent authority itself or upon request of the initiator may take a decision that the intended activities, to which an impact assessment has been applied and which cause an impact on the same territory and are similar, shall be evaluated in a combined procedure.

(8) In a decision on combined procedure of an impact assessment the competent authority shall determined that the following shall be combined during the impact assessment:

1) initial public discussion;

2) preparation of the impact assessment report;

3) public discussion.

[5 June 2014]

Section 15. Initial Public Discussion of the Impact Assessment of an Intended Activity

(1) If a decision of the competent authority has been received that an impact assessment of an intended activity is to be performed, the initiator shall publish an announcement regarding the intended activity and the possibility of the public to submit written proposals regarding the possible impact of such activity on the environment in at least one newspaper issued by a local government or another local newspaper, as well as shall inform individually the owners (possessors) of immovable properties which are located next to the territory of the intended activity. The initiator shall submit the referred to announcement in the electronic form for the placement on the website to the competent authority and local government in the administrative territory of which the intended activity is planned.

(2) Upon a written request of the competent authority or the local government in the administrative territory of which the intended activity is planned, an initiator shall ensure an initial public discussion of the impact assessment of the intended activity. The initiator may organise the initial public discussion upon his or her own initiative. Any person is entitled to participate in such discussion and to make his or her proposals.

(3) Initial public discussion of an intended activity, as well as of an impact assessment of construction shall take place in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet.

(4) [10 June 2010]

[19 June 2003; 10 June 2010]

Section 16. Development of a Programme

[10 June 2010]

(1) Upon the written request of an initiator, the competent authority shall develop and send to the initiator a programme which includes the requirements and provisions for environmental protection, as well as an aggregate of the required research and organisational measures for the further implementation of the impact assessment.

(2) A programme shall be developed on the basis of the submission of an intended activity, the initial assessment thereof, if such has taken place, the results of an initial public discussion, as well as taking into account the proposals of the public and the information provided by the concerned State authorities, local governments and other authorities specified by law. The minimum requirements for the content of the programme and the procedures for the elaboration thereof shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(3) When developing a programme, the competent authority has the right to invite experts, as well as to request additional information from the initiator.

(4) A programme shall be in effect for a time period of five years. An initiator shall make a repeated request to issue a programme, if the period of validity thereof has expired, but the statement referred to in Section 17 of this Law has not been submitted to the competent authority.

[30 May 2001; 19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010]

Section 17. Impact Assessment Statement, the Preparation and Public Discussion Thereof

(1) On the basis of a programme, an initiator shall prepare a statement in compliance with Paragraph three of this Section and place on its own or the duly authorised person's website such statement and announcement regarding the possibility of the public to become familiar with the referred to statement and documents related thereto, to submit written proposals and participate in the public discussion, as well as shall publish the announcement in at least one newspaper issued by a local government or another local newspaper. The initiator shall ensure availability of the statement for the public.

(2) An initiator shall submit a statement and announcement in a printed form and electronically to the relevant local government that ensures the placement of the announcement on the website thereof and availability of the statement for the public. The initiator shall submit the announcement electronically to the competent authority, which places it on the website thereof, providing also a link to the initiator's website where the statement is available.

(3) A statement shall provide information regarding:

1) the intended activity and the possible solutions in relation to the location thereof or the types of technologies to be used (also regarding the refusal of the intended activity);

2) the intended activity and the possible solutions in relation to the location thereof and the types of technologies to be used (also regarding the refusal of the intended activity), if such activity may significantly affect an area of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000);

3) the possible impact of the intended activity and the solutions referred to in the Clauses 1 and 2 of this Paragraph on the environment, including upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000);

4) the technological and other solutions which could help to prevent or reduce the negative impact of the intended activity on the environment;

5) the intended compensatory measures, if such may be determined in accordance with the Law On Areas of Particular Natural Sensitivity; and

6) the result of the public discussion by appending a report on participation measures of the public and proposals submitted by the public and specifying how the submitted proposals are taken into account.

(4) The public has the right to send an initiator and competent authority written proposals or opinions regarding a statement within 30 days following the publishing of the announcement referred to in Paragraph one of this Section in the newspaper. The initiator shall organise a public discussion at least seven days following the publishing of the announcement in the newspaper and not later than 10 days prior to the expiry of the time period determined for the submission of proposals of the public.

(5) The content of a statement and procedures for the preparation thereof, as well as the procedures by which the public is informed regarding the statement and procedures for the publishing of the announcement shall be determined by the Cabinet.

(6) An initiator has a duty to ascertain the opinion of the public, promoting the participation of a representative part of the population who may be influenced by an intended activity in a public discussion or to poll this part of the population.

(7) An initiator shall, upon having accessed the proposals submitted by the public and the results of the public discussion, clarify a statement by including a report on participation measures of the public and proposals submitted by the public therein and specifying how the submitted proposals are taken into account. The initiator shall submit this statement together with the copies of written proposals of the public in a printed form and electronically to the competent authority, as well as place a statement on the website thereof.

(8) If during the preparation of a statement an initiator decides to refuse an intended activity, he or she shall immediately submit an announcement regarding his or her decision (in a printed form and electronically) to the local government in the administrative territory of which the intended activity is planned, and to the competent authority that places the announcement of the initiator on the website thereof.

[19 June 2003; 26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010]

Section 18. Opinion on a Draft Statement

[10 June 2010]

Section 19. Final Environmental Impact Statement

[10 June 2010]

Section 20. Opinion on a Statement

(1) The competent authority shall assess a statement and provide an opinion thereon.

(2) The competent authority may invite experts for the preparation of an opinion and send the statement for the assessment to State authorities in compliance with their competence, as well as, if necessary, request additional information from the initiator.

(3) Until preparation of an opinion a competent authority shall provide written proposals for the elimination of deficiencies in a statement. The initiator shall ensure the availability of the current version of the statement on his or her own or the duly authorised person's website and send the announcement regarding the updated statement to the local government electronically for the placement on the website thereof.

(4) If the statement does not correspond to the programme, requirements of laws and regulations or written proposals of a competent authority have not been taken into account in respect of the statement, or the informing of the public has not been performed, or a public discussion has not taken place in compliance with the requirements of this law and other laws and regulations, the competent authority shall send the statement to the initiator for revision, indicating the deficiencies to be eliminated, as well as, if necessary, shall assign the initiator to ensure the informing of the public and a public discussion.

(5) The Cabinet shall prescribe the procedures by which a competent authority shall send a statement to the initiator for revision and provide opinion on the statement.

(6) The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development shall prepare an informative report and draft Cabinet for the submission to the Cabinet for the taking of a decision in the following cases:

1) if in accordance with the statement submitted by the initiator, the intended activity will have a negative impact upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), but the intended activity is the only solution to satisfy important societal interests, also social or economic interests; and

2) if in accordance with the statement submitted by the initiator, the intended activity will have a negative impact upon priority species and biotopes of the European Union in areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), but the intended activity is the only solution and necessary for the satisfaction of the safeguarding of public health, public safety or environmental protection interests or other interests especially important for the public.

(7) The Cabinet shall prescribe the requirements for the informative report referred to in Paragraph six of this Section.

(8) If the intended activity will have a negative impact upon priority species and biotopes of the European Union in areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) and in accordance with the Cabinet decision the intended activity is the only solution and necessary to satisfy other especially important societal interests, the competent authority shall send the information to the European Commission in compliance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories for the receipt of an opinion. The competent authority shall inform the European Commission regarding other cases referred to in Paragraph six of this Section and application of compensatory measures in compliance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories.

(9) The competent authority shall send an opinion on a statement to the initiator, the State authorities involved in the impact assessment, another authority specified by law and local governments (in a printed form and electronically), who shall publish it on the website thereof. The competent authority shall place the opinion on a statement on the website thereof and publish in at least one newspaper issued by the local government or in another local newspaper an announcement that an opinion on the statement has been provided, as well as shall inform regarding the possibility to become acquainted with the referred to opinion and statement.

(10) The competent authority shall, if necessary, specify in an opinion on a statement the provisions according to which the intended activity is to be implemented or not permissible.

(11) An opinion on a statement shall be in effect for a time period of three years. If the acceptance of an intended activity referred to in Section 21 of this Law has not been taken within such time period, a new impact assessment shall be performed.

[19 June 2003; 26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010; 16 December 2010]

Section 20.1 Intended Activities, which may have a Transboundary Impact

(1) If the competent authority indicates in a decision on the necessity of an impact assessment that an intended activity may have a substantial transboundary impact, it shall notify the initiator, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the concerned State authorities and local governments in writing regarding this.

(2) After co-ordination with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the competent authority shall send a written notification regarding an intended activity which may have transboundary impact to the state upon which the intended activity may have an impact, before the initiator informs the Latvian public regarding the intended activity in accordance with Section 15, Paragraph one of this Law.

(3) A notification shall provide the following information:

1) the application of the intended activity;

2) any information available regarding the intended activity, which may have transboundary impact;

3) information regarding the possible decision;

4) the time period and location where the State may provide an answer, indicating if it has intended to participate in the impact assessment.

(4) When the competent authority has received a written request from any state in which an intended activity may have a substantial impact, it shall send the notification referred to in Paragraph three of this Section to this state, before the initiator informs the Latvian public regarding the intended activity in accordance with Section 15, Paragraph one of this Law.

(5) If a state which has received the announcement referred to in Paragraph three of this Section provides an answer in the time period indicated therein that it has decided to participate in an impact assessment, the competent authority shall send it the programme, statement and information regarding the procedures for the impact assessment.

(6) In co-operation with the competent authority of the state which has decided to participate in an impact assessment, the competent authority shall ensure the procedures in accordance with which the concerned institutions and the public of the affected state may become acquainted with the information referred to in Paragraph three and five of this Section and submit proposals to the competent authority before it provides an opinion on the statement.

(61) If the intended activity is planned to be implemented outside territories within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Latvia and it may have an impact upon the environment of Latvia, the competent authority shall, within 14 days after the information specified in Paragraphs three or five of this Law has been received from the competent authority of the relevant state, place a notice regarding such in its homepage in the Internet and publish such notice in at least one local newspaper.

(62) The notice of the competent authority shall indicate the place where the public and interested institutions may acquire information regarding the intended activity and its transboundary impact, as well as information regarding time periods up to when written proposals may be submitted to the competent authority. The competent authority shall send the notice to such institutions and organisations with which it is necessary to consult regarding programme and statements.

(63) The competent authority shall compile the proposals submitted by the public and interested institutions and send them to the competent authority of the relevant state.

(7) The competent authority shall consult with the competent authority of the state which has decided to participate in an impact assessment regarding the possible transboundary impact of an intended activity, regarding the activities for preventing or reducing the negative impact, as well as regarding the time period necessary for consultations.

[19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 7 June 2007; 10 June 2010; 16 December 2010]

Chapter V
Acceptance of an Intended Activity

Section 21. Concept of the Acceptance of an Intended Activity

(1) The acceptance of an intended activity is a decision taken by a relevant State institution, local government, other authorities laid down in law or by the Cabinet regarding a permit to commence an intended activity in accordance with the procedures laid down in this Law and other laws and regulations.

(2) If, in accordance with a statement, the impact of an intended activity on the environment or human health may affect a territory which is larger than the territory of the relevant local government, and the relevant local government has accepted the intended activity, the Cabinet shall take a final decision on the intended activity on the basis of a proposal of the local government in whose territory such activity may have an impact.

[19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010]

Section 22. Acceptance of an Intended Activity

(1) In order to receive a permit to commence an intended activity, the initiator shall submit a submission, statement and an opinion by the competent authority regarding the statement to the relevant State authority, local government or another authority specified by law together with the documents specified in other laws and regulations.

(2) After the comprehensive evaluation of a statement, opinion of a local government and the public and taking into account an opinion by the competent authority regarding the statement, the relevant State authority, local government or another authority laid down in law shall take a decision to accept or not accept an intended activity in accordance with the procedures laid down in laws and regulations.

(3) If it is intended to carry out an intended activity in the territory of several local governments, it shall be considered as accepted, if a decision to accept this activity has been taken by all relevant local governments. If it is intended to carry out an intended activity, which is related to the construction of transport and electronic communications networks and structures for transmission of energy, in the territory of several local governments and the local governments have accepted different solutions for the location of the intended activity, the final decision shall be taken by the Cabinet.

(4) If an intended activity has transboundary impact, the relevant State authority, local government or another institution specified by law shall take into account the opinion of the concerned authorities and the public of the affected state, as well as the results of consultations, in taking a decision to accept or not accept the intended activity.

(5) A decision to accept or not accept an intended activity in inland maritime waters, the territorial sea of the Republic of Latvia or in the exclusive economic zone shall be taken by the Cabinet.

(6) The intended activity shall be accepted according to the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet.

[30 May 2001; 19 June 2003; 15 September 2005; 7 June 2007; 10 June 2010; 5 June 2014]

Section 23. Provision of Information Regarding a Decision Taken

(1) The relevant State authority, local government or other authorities specified by law shall send the decision taken to an initiator and the competent authority.

(2) The relevant State authority, local government or another authority specified by law shall, within three days after taking of a decision, post it on its website (if such exists) and within five working days shall send it for publishing in at least one newspaper issued by a local government or in other local newspaper. The publication shall indicate the State institution or the local government in which the concerned parties may become acquainted with:

1) the content of the decision;

2) the basis for the decision and information regarding the public discussion process;

3) the activities which shall be performed in order to prevent or reduce the negative effect on the environment;

4) [15 September 2005].

(3) The relevant State institution, local government or other authorities specified by law shall inform each state with which it has consulted during the process of environmental impact assessment, and shall send thereto the information referred to in Paragraph two of this Section.

(4) If the intended activity is planned to be implemented outside the existing territory of jurisdiction of Latvia and consultations have taken place in accordance with Section 20.1, Paragraph seven of this Law, the competent authority shall within five working days after information regarding the decision taken has been received place such decision on its website.

[30 May 2001, 19 June 2003; 26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010]

Chapter VI
Procedures for Strategic Assessment

[19 June 2003]

Section 23.1 Proposal of a Planning Document in the Competent Authority

(1) In commencing the preparation of such a planning document, which in accordance with this Law may have a substantial impact upon the environment, also upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) (except for the planning documents referred to in Paragraph three of this Section), the developer thereof shall submit a written submission to the competent authority. Prior to the submission of the written submission the developer shall consult with the environmental and public health institutions concerned regarding the possible impact of the implementation of the planning document upon the environment and human health and regarding the necessity for a strategic assessment. Taking into account Section 4, Paragraphs three, four, five and six of this Law, as well as the criteria laid down in Section 23.2 and the opinion of the concerned institutions, a developer shall justify in the submission the necessity for applying a strategic assessment or the reasons why a particular planning document does not need a strategic assessment.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the content and procedures for submitting a submission, as well as the institutions with which the submitter shall consult prior to the submission of the submission.

(3) The Cabinet shall determine such types of planning documents for which a strategic assessment is required.

[26 February 2004; 15 September 2005]

Section 23.2 Criteria for the Necessity of a Strategic Assessment

In order to take a decision on the necessity of a strategic assessment, the following shall be evaluated:

1) the nature of the relevant planning document, taking into account:

a) to what extent the planning document includes preconditions for the implementation of intended activities, projects and other activities, taking into account the choice of location, the type and amount of the activity, the operating conditions and the utilisation of resources,

b) to what extent the planning document shall influence other planning documents, which are at various levels of planning,

c) the relation of the planning document to the inclusion of environmental requirements in the planning documents of other sectors, particularly in order to promote sustainable development,

d) the environmental problems related to a particular planning document,

e) the relation of the planning document to the introduction of the provisions of the laws and regulations of Latvia and the European Union in the area of the environment, especially in the area of waste management and the protection of water resources;

2) characterisation of the territory subject to the possible impact, taking into account:

a) the probability, duration, frequency and reversibility of the consequences of the impact,

b) the cumulative effect of the impact,

c) the nature of the transboundary impact,

d) the hazards to human health or the environment, as well as the risk of accidents,

e) the amount and spreading of the impact, taking into account the size and number of inhabitants of the territory subject to the possible impact;

3) the vulnerability and specific characteristics of the territory subject to the possible impact, taking into account:

a) the measure of characteristics of natural conditions,

b) the impact on cultural monuments,

c) the existing or possible exceedance of the norms for environmental quality,

d) the type and intensity of the utilisation of land;

4) the impact of the implementation of the relevant planning document on:

a) areas of particular natural sensitivity, wetlands of international significance, micro-reserves, the protective coastal zone of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, protective zones of surface water bodies,

b) specially protected species, the habitats and specially protected biotopes thereof.

[26 February 2004]

Section 23.3 Decision on the Necessity of a Strategic Assessment

The competent authority shall:

1) take a motivated decision if a particular planning document requires a strategic assessment;

2) ensure that a decision to apply or not to apply a strategic assessment and the documents substantiating such decision are accessible to everyone;

3) inform the public regarding why a strategic assessment is or is not applied to a particular planning document, in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet.

Section 23.4 Environmental Review

(1) Information shall be included in an environmental review which may be ensured by a developer, taking into account the present level of knowledge and assessment methods, the content of a planning document, the place in the hierarchy of planning documents and the level of development and detail thereof up to which it is useful to assess the impact on the environment in the relevant stage of planning in order to prevent the duplication of an assessment.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the required information to be included in an environmental review.

Section 23.5 Procedures for Developing, Discussing and Monitoring a Strategic Assessment

(1) A strategic assessment shall be performed during the preparation of a planning document, before such planning document is submitted for acceptance. If a planning document is hierarchically related to another planning document or to the implementation of intended activities, in order to prevent the duplication of information, only such information shall be included in an environmental review which is necessary at the relevant stage of planning, as well as shall use the information obtained during the previous stages of planning.

(2) A developer shall consult with the competent authority regarding the level of detail of an environmental review.

(3) In accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet, a developer shall publish an announcement regarding the possibilities of the public to become acquainted with an environmental review and the draft of a planning document, as well as regarding the possibilities of participating in a public discussion.

(4) During the preparation of a planning document and before the acceptance thereof, a developer shall evaluate and take into account:

1) the environmental review, as well as the alternative solutions for the prevention, reduction or compensation of the negative impact on the health of human beings and the environment;

2) the comments and proposals received in regard to the environmental review;

3) public opinion;

4) in the case of transboundary impact, also the comments and proposals of the relevant State authorities and public opinion;

5) opinion of the European Commission regarding the planning document and the requirements laid down in the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories regarding measures to be compensated in relation to areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), if the implementation of the planning document negatively impacts upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000) and in accordance with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories it is necessary to obtain an opinion from the European Commission.

(5) Taking into account an assessment of alternative solutions, the comments and proposals received, as well as public opinion, a developer shall update an environmental review and submit it to the competent authority together with copies of the comments and proposals received.

(6) The competent authority shall provide an opinion on an environmental review in the time period specified by the Cabinet, taking into account the conformity of the environmental review to the requirements of laws and regulations and the justification of the designated solution, as well as shall determined the time periods in which a developer shall submit a report on the direct or indirect impact on the environment of the implementation of a planning document, also the impact not anticipated in the environmental review, to the competent authority after the approval of the planning document. If the designated solution is not sufficiently justified, the competent authority shall specify in the opinion the objections taken into account in deciding regarding approval of the planning document.

(7) If an environmental review does not conform to the requirements of laws and regulations or the designated solution has a substantial impact on human health and the environment and is not sufficiently justified, as well as if the informing of the public and a discussion of the environmental review has not been performed in accordance with the procedures stipulated by the Cabinet or the comments and proposals received have not been evaluated, the competent authority shall send the environmental review to the developer for revision, indicating the deficiencies to be eliminated, or shall assign the executor to ensure the informing of the public and a public discussion.

(71) Before a competent authority provides an opinion, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development shall prepare an informative report and draft Cabinet order for the submission to the Cabinet for the taking of a decision in the following cases:

1) if in accordance with the environmental review submitted by the developer, the implementation of the planning document will have a negative impact upon areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), but the implementation of this document is the only solution to satisfy important societal interests, also social or economic interests; and

2) if in accordance with the environmental review submitted by the developer, the implementation of the planning document will have a negative impact upon priority species and biotopes of the European Union in areas of natural sensitivity of European significance (NATURA 2000), but the implementation of this document is the only solution and is necessary for the satisfaction of the safeguarding of public health, public safety or environmental protection interests or other interests especially important for the public.

(72) The Cabinet shall determine the requirements for the informative report referred to in Paragraph 7.1 of this Section.

(73) If in accordance with the decision of the Cabinet, the implementation of the planning document is the only solution in order to satisfy important social or economic societal interests, the competent institution in conformity with the Law On Specially Protected Nature Territories shall send a report to the European Commission.

(8) The Cabinet shall determine:

1) the institutions to which a developer shall send the draft of a planning document and an environmental review in order to receive comments and propositions;

2) the procedures for informing the public and discussing an environmental review, also in cases of transboundary impact;

3) the provisions and procedures for informing the public after acceptance of a planning document;

4) the procedures for informing the relevant states in cases of possible transboundary impact;

5) the procedures for informing the European Commission;

6) the procedures for monitoring a planning document.

[26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010; 16 December 2010]

Chapter VI
Liability and Review of Decisions

[19 June 2003]

Section 24. Liability of an Initiator and Developer

(1) An initiator shall be liable for:

1) the completeness and veracity of submitted information, as well as for the preparation of a statement in accordance with the requirements of this Law and other laws and regulations; and

2) the implementation of the solutions included in a statement.

(2) A developer shall be responsible for the completeness and veracity of the information, as well as the performance of a strategic assessment in accordance with the requirements of this Law and other laws and regulations.

[19 June 2003; 10 June 2010]

Section 25. Liability of Outside Experts

Outside experts shall be liable for:

1) the objectiveness of the assessment of documents submitted to the competent authority;

2) the quality of their opinion and the observing of the time periods for the preparation of the opinion.

Section 26. Procedures for Reviewing Decisions

(1) Any decision taken in accordance with this Law, also any activity or inactivity, may not violate or ignore the rights of the society laid down in laws and regulations to information or participation in the process of environmental impact assessment or strategic assessment.

(2) If the rights of the society laid down in laws and regulations to information or participation have been violated or ignored in the process of environmental impact assessment or strategic assessment, anyone has the right to submit:

1) to the competent authority a complaint regarding the actions of the initiator or developer during the entire process of environmental impact assessment until such time when the competent authority has provided an opinion on a statement or an environmental report;

2) to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development a complaint regarding a decision of the competent authority, reviewing the complaint referred to in Clause 1 of this Paragraph.

(3) The competent authority and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, upon reviewing a complaint, have the right to assign the initiator or developer to ensure the rights of the society laid down in laws and regulations to information or participation in the process of environmental impact assessment or strategic assessment. If the initiator or developer does not take into account the opinion of the competent authority or the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, upon preparing a statement the competent authority shall evaluate the actions of the initiator or developer and, if necessary, indicate the violations of the initiator or developer in the statement in relation to failure to ensure the participation of the society or failure to provide information.

(4) A decision to accept the intended activity or a decision to accept a planning document, if the rights of the society laid down in laws and regulations to information or participation have been violated or ignored in the process of environmental impact assessment or strategic assessment, may be contested and appealed in accordance with the procedures laid down in laws and regulations.

[5 June 2014]

Transitional Provisions

1. The Cabinet shall establish the competent authority not later than by 1 January 1999.

2. The Government Environmental Examination Administration shall fulfil the duties of the competent authority until the day when the competent authority begins its operation.

3. [19 June 2003]

4. With the coming into force of this Law, the following are repealed:

1) the Law On Government Environmental Examination (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1990, No. 45);

2) Cabinet Regulation No. 278, Regulations regarding Environmental Impact Assessment (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1998, No. 18) issued in accordance with the procedures laid down in Section 81 of the Constitution.

5. The Cabinet shall prepare and approve the regulations referred to in Section 4, Paragraph two of this Law by 1 October 2001.

[30 May 2003]

6. A strategic assessment shall not be required for the planning documents whose development is determined by laws and regulations until 21 July 2004 or whose development has begun before 21 July 2004 if the developer has informed the competent authority about such planning document until 21 July 2004 and the planning document is accepted by 21 July 2006, except for:

1) cases where, after the receiving of information, the competent authority has taken a decision on the necessity of a strategic environment assessment, taking into account the criteria for the necessity of a strategic assessment referred to in Section 23.2 of this Law and the stage of development of the planning document;

2) the cases specified in Clause 7 of these Transitional Provisions.

[26 February 2004]

7. Planning documents whose implementation may have a substantial impact on areas of natural sensitivity of European significance shall require a strategic assessment if they have been accepted after 1 May 2004.

[19 June 2003]

8. If a developer applies a strategic assessment to a planning document prior to the end of the time periods referred to in Clauses 6 or 7 of these Transitional Provisions, the strategic assessment shall be applied in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

[19 June 2003]

9. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations referred to in this Law until 1 March 2004.

[19 June 2003]

10. The following Cabinet regulations shall be applied until the coming into force of the new Cabinet regulations, but not later than until 1 March 2004, insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law:

1) Cabinet Regulation No. 213 of 15 June 1999, "Procedures for Assessing the Impact on the Environment" (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1999, No. 14);

2) Cabinet Regulation No. 521 of 18 December, "By-law of the State Environmental Impact Assessment Bureau" (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 2002, No. 3).

[19 June 2003]

11. The Cabinet shall issue by 1 May 2006 the regulations referred to in Section 4.1; Section 19, Paragraph four; Section 22, Paragraph five and Section 23.5, Paragraph 72 of this Law.

[15 September 2005]

12. The Cabinet shall issue by 1 January 2008 the regulations referred to in Section 5 of this Law. Until the day of the coming into force of such regulations, but not later than until 1 January 2008, Cabinet Regulation No. 117 of 7 February 2006, Regulations Regarding the Price List of Paid Services provided by the State Environmental Service, shall be applied insofar as they are not in contradiction with this Law.

[7 June 2007]

13. Amendments to Section 5 of this Law in relation to the initiator of an intended activity paying a State fee in respect of an initial impact assessment shall come into force on 1 January 2008.

[7 June 2007]

14. Amendments to Section 4.1, Paragraph three, Section 14, Paragraphs one and three, Section 20.1, Paragraphs five, six, 6.1 and 6.2 and Section 21, Paragraph two, Section 26, Paragraph two, Clause 1, as well as amendments in respect of restating Section 15, Paragraph one, Section 16, Paragraph four, Sections 17, 20, 22 and Section 24, Paragraph one, exclusion of Section 3.1, Section 14, Paragraph four, Section 18 and 19 of this Law and supplementing the Law with Section 6.1 shall come into force on 1 January 2011.

[10 June 2010]

15. The Cabinet shall, not later than until 1 January 2011, issue the regulations referred to in Section 17, Paragraph five, Section 20, Paragraphs five and seven, as well as Section 22 of this Law.

[10 June 2010]

16. Paragraph 31 of Annex 1 to this Law shall come into force on 1 January 2013.

[1 December 2011]

17. Amendments to this Law regarding exclusion of Section 4, Paragraphs two and 2.1, rewording of Sections 12 and 13, as well as amendments to Annexes 1 and 2 shall come into force on 1 January 2015.

[5 June 2014]

18. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations referred to in Section 12, Paragraph two of this Law not later than until 1 January 2015. Until the day of coming into force of the Regulation, but not later than until 1 January 2015 Cabinet Regulation No. 83 of 25 January 2011, Procedures for the Environmental Impact Assessment of an Intended Activity, shall apply.

[5 June 2014]

19. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations referred to in Section 13, Paragraph four of this Law not later than until 1 January 2015. Until the day of coming into force of the Regulation, but not later than until 1 January 2015 Cabinet Regulation No. 91 of 24 February 2004, Procedures by which the Regional Environmental Board shall Issues Technical Regulations for an Intended Activity which Does not Need the Environmental Impact Assessment, shall apply.

[5 June 2014]

Informative Reference to European Union Directives

This Law includes legal norms arising from:

1) Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (codified version);

2) [5 June 2014];

3) Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora;

4) Directive 2009/147/EC of the European parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds;

5) Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment;

6) [5 June 2014];

7) [5 June 2014].

[26 February 2004; 15 September 2005; 10 June 2010; 1 December 2011; 5 June 2014]

The Law was adopted by the Saeima on 14 October 1998.

President G. Ulmanis

Rīga, 30 October 1998

 

Annex 1
Law On Environmental Impact Assessment

[10 June 2010; 1 December 2011; 5 June 2014]

Objects Requiring Impact Assessment

1. Installations, which are intended for the refinement of crude oil, coal or bituminous shale if the refinement amount is 500 or more tons per day.

2. Thermal power stations and other combustion installations with a heat output of 100 megawatts or more.

3. Nuclear power stations and nuclear reactors, as well as the dismantling or liquidation thereof (except for research installations for the production and conversion of nuclear materials and transformable nuclear materials whose maximum power does not exceed 1 kilowatt average thermal input). (Nuclear power station or other nuclear reactor operations shall be deemed to have ceased when all the nuclear fuel and other radioactive polluting elements have been fully removed from the location of the installation).

4. Installations for the reprocessing of irradiated nuclear fuel.

5. Installations or zones designed for:

1) the production or enrichment of nuclear fuel;

2) the processing of irradiated nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste;

3) the final disposal of irradiated nuclear fuel;

4) the final disposal of radioactive waste; and

5) the storage of irradiated nuclear fuel or radioactive waste for more than 10 years outside the production site or the place of origin thereof.

6. Integrated pig iron or steel plants and installations for the production of non-ferrous metals from ore, concentrates or secondary raw materials by metallurgical, chemical or electrolytic processes.

7. Installations for the extraction of asbestos and for the processing and transformation of asbestos and products containing asbestos:

1) if the amount of the finished products of asbestos-cement products exceeds 10 000 tons per year;

2) if the amount of the finished products of friction materials exceeds 50 tons per year; and

3) in other cases if installations utilise more then 50 tons of asbestos per year.

8. Installations, which are intended for the industrial production of the following substances, using several consecutive processes for the conversion of chemical substances:

1) organic and inorganic basic chemical substances;

2) phosphorous-, nitrogen- or potassium-based (simple or compound) fertilisers;

3) plant protection products and biocides;

4) pharmaceutical products in the production of which chemical and biological processes are used; and

5) explosives.

9. Construction of new public railway lines, if their length is 10 kilometres and more.

10. Construction of new airports with a runway length of 2 100 metres or more.

11. Construction of motorways and express roads.

11.1 Construction of new roads with four or more lanes or existing roads with two or less lanes which have been realigned and/or widened so as to provide roads of four or more lanes if such section of constructed, realigned and/or widened road is 10 or more kilometres long.

11.2 Construction of new motors roads, if their length is 10 kilometres and more.

12. Inland waterways and ports which are intended for inland waterway transport with a capacity of 1 350 tons or more.

13. Ports and piers outside the ports which are intended for the reloading of cargoes (except for passenger ship piers) if they can service ships with a capacity of 1 350 tons or more.

14. Sites for the disposal of hazardous waste, as well as installations for the incineration and chemical treatment thereof.

14.1 Installations for biological, physical and mechanical treatment and processing of hazardous waste, if their capacity is 10 000 tonnes per year and more.

14.2 Installations for sorting hazardous waste, if their capacity is 20 000 tonnes per year and more.

15. Municipal waste disposal sites.

16. Municipal waste disposal installations for the incineration and chemical treatment thereof if the treatment amount is ten or more tons per twenty-four hours.

17. Projects designed for the abstraction of groundwater or artificial recharging of groundwater if the annual total circulation is 10 million cubic metres or more.

17.1 Projects, which provide for the division of water resources between river basins (except the acquisition of centralised drinking water) if the goal of such division of resources is to prevent possible water shortages and if the amount of water transferred exceeds 100 million cubic metres per year.

18. Projects designed for the transfer of water resources between river basins (except for the centralised abstraction of drinking water), if the amount of transferred water exceeds 5 per cent of the flow thereof.

19. Waste water treatment plants with a capacity which exceeds 150 000 population equivalents.

20. Projects designed for the extraction of hydrocarbons for commercial purposes.

21. Dams or other hydro-constructions designed for the keeping back or permanent storage of water if the amount of artificially stored water thereof exceeds 10 million cubic metres.

22. Pipelines with a diameter of more than 800 millimetres and a length of more than 40 kilometres:

1) for the transport of oil, gas, and chemicals; and

2) for the transport of captured carbon dioxide streams to the storage site, including booster stations associated with the network of pipelines.

23. Installations for the intensive rearing of pigs or poultry with more than:

1) 85 000 places for broilers;

2) 60 000 places for hens;

3) 3 000 places for production pigs (over 30 kilograms); and

4) 900 places for sows.

24. Industrial plants for:

1) the production of pulp from timber or similar fibrous materials; and

2) the production of paper and board if the production capacity exceeds 50 000 tons per year.

25. Extraction of mineral resources in the area of 25 hectares or larger or extraction of peat in the area of 150 hectares or larger.

26. High-voltage electric lines the length of which is more than 15 kilometres and the voltage of which - 110 kilovolts or more.

26.1 Construction of wind farms, if their:

1) number is 15 farms and more; and

2) total capacity is 15 megawatts and more.

27. Storage facilities for petroleum and petrochemical products with a total capacity of 50 000 tons or more, as well as storage facilities for chemical products with a total capacity of 20 000 tons or more.

28. [19 June 2003]

29. Projects for the propagation (introduction) of wild species, which are not characteristic to the nature of Latvia.

30. [5 June 2014]

31. Storage sites of carbon dioxide arranged in geological structures that are located in the territory of Latvia, exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf thereof. Impact assessment is not required for storage sites where carbon dioxide is stored for research, development or testing of new products and processes if a total intended storage amount of carbon dioxide is less than 100 000 tonnes.

32. Arrangement of installations for the capture of carbon dioxide in order to store carbon dioxide in geological structures:

1) if carbon dioxide is captured from the activities (installations) covered by this Annex; and

2) if the total yearly capture of carbon dioxide is 1,5 megatonnes or more.

 

Annex 2
Law On Environmental Impact Assessment

[10 June 2010; 1 December 2011; 5 June 2014]

Activities Requiring an Initial Assessment

1. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries:

1) change of category of use of land to be used in agriculture if the area of the land to be transformed is larger than 50 hectares;

2) conversion of partially converted territories or territories not used for economic activity into arable land if the land area is larger than 50 hectares;

3) the following water-management projects:

a) new water management projects, including construction of new land amelioration and irrigation systems, if their land area is larger than 100 hectares,

b) reconstruction of existing land amelioration or irrigation systems, if their land area is larger than 500 hectares;

4) afforestation and deforestation if the land area is larger than 50 hectares;

5) construction of installations for the intensive rearing of livestock and poultry if they are intended for:

a) more than 2 000 pigs for fattening whose weight exceeds 30 kilograms,

b) more than 750 sows,

c) more than 40 000 poultry,

d) farms in which there are 500 cattle, and

e) farms in which there are 250 cattle if in such farms there is insufficient agricultural land area for the distribution of manure (determining the permitted animal units - 1.7 animal units per hectare of agricultural land);

6) the installation of ponds for fish farming, the total area of which exceeds 10 hectares, the installation of fish farming complexes in natural reservoirs and watercourses;

7) reclamation of land from the sea; and

8) growing of genetically modified crops allowed in the European Union.

2. Extractive industry:

1) extraction of mineral resources in the area of 5 hectares or larger or extraction of peat in the area of 25 hectares or larger;

2) the extraction of mineral resources in underground mines;

3) the extraction of mineral resources by cleaning or deepening surface water objects or the sea (except for repair deepening of port aquatic waters for renewal of the initial designed depth), if the total volume of mineral resources extracted is 1000 or more cubic metres;

4) the installation and utilisation of the following deep drillings (except for drillings designed for engineering geological surveys and the monitoring of groundwater):

a) geothermal drillings,

b) drillings for radioactive waste storage,

c) drillings for water extraction which are deeper than 250 metres, and

d) drillings for the research and extraction of hydrocarbons; and

5) installation of surface industrial installations for the extraction of coal, petroleum, natural gas, ores and bituminous shale.

3. Energy industry:

1) the installation of industrial installations for the production of electricity, steam and hot water if the entered thermal power thereof exceeds 50 megawatts;

2) the installation of transmission lines of gas, steam and hot water and high-voltage electric lines if the length thereof exceeds 5 kilometres;

3) the installation of surface natural gas and underground natural gas and other inflammable gases storage sites;

4) the installation of surface storage sites for fossil fuels;

5) the setting up of installations for the briquetting of coal and lignite;

6) the setting up of installations for the processing and storage of radioactive waste (all operations to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

7) the construction of hydroelectric power stations if:

a) a new hydroelectric power plant is constructed,

b) an existing hydroelectric power plant is reconstructed, thus affecting the hydrological or hydro-geological regime;

8) the construction of wind farms if:

a) their number is 5 power plants and more,

b) their capacity is 5 megawatts and more,

c) it is intended within the distance of less than 500 metres from residential houses, except cases when a wind farm is intended for the supply of electricity to a residential house and its capacity is 20 kilowatts and more,

d) the height of the construction exceeds 30 metres and it is intended in a specially protected nature territory or within the distance of less than 1 kilometre from a specially protected nature territory, except the territory of natural monuments - protected stones (secular stones) and protected trees (secular trees) - or from a micro-reserve established for the protection of specially protected bird species;

9) the construction of wind farms in the territorial waters of the Republic of Latvia or in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Latvia; and

10) the installation of such installations for the capture of carbon dioxide not covered by Annex 1 to this Law.

4. The extraction and production of metals and fabricated metal products:

1) installations for the production of pig iron or steel (primary or secondary fusion) including continuous casting if the capacity of such installations exceeds 2.5 tons per hour;

2) installations for the processing of ferrous metals:

a) hot-rolling mills in which more than 20 tons of steel are processed per hour,

b) smitheries, the energy of which exceeds 50 kilojoules for each mechanism if the capacity of consumed heat exceeds 20 megawatts, and

c) installations for the application of protective fused metal coats, which process more than 2 tons of steel per hour;

3) ferrous metal foundries, the production capacity of which exceeds 20 tons per twenty-four hours;

4) installations for the smelting of non-ferrous metals (also the alloyage of non-ferrous metals, excluding precious metals), the capacity of which exceeds 4 tons of melted lead or cadmium per twenty-four hours or 20 tons of any other melted metal per twenty-four hours (also installations for the refining of processed products and metal foundries);

5) installations for surface treatment of metals and plastic materials using an electrolytic or chemical process and the total volume of the electrolysis bath or chemical treatment vessel thereof exceeds 30 cubic metres;

6) the mass production and assembly of mechanic vehicles and the manufacturing of the engines of such vehicles;

7) shipyards and repair yards;

8) installations for the construction and repair of aircraft;

9) manufacture of railway structures;

10) extraction of metals by explosives; and

11) the setting up of installations for the roasting and sintering of metallic ores.

5. Processing of mineral resources:

1) the setting up of coke ovens (dry coal distillation);

2) the manufacture of cement if the production capacity exceeds 500 tons of products per twenty-four hours;

3) the setting up of installations for the production of asbestos and such products in which asbestos is the main component (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

4) the setting up of installations for the manufacture of glass and glass fibres if the smelting capacity exceeds 20 tons per twenty-four hours;

5) the setting up of installations for the smelting of mineral substances, as well as the production of mineral fibres if the smelting capacity exceeds 20 tons per twenty-four hours; and

6) the manufacture of ceramic products by burning, the manufacture of roofing tiles, bricks, refractory bricks, tiles, stoneware and porcelain if the production capacity exceeds 75 tons of finished products per twenty-four hours or if the volume of the kiln is larger than 4 cubic metres and more than 300 kilograms of products per one cubic metre of the furnace may be placed in the kiln.

6. Chemical industry:

1) the industrial production of chemical substances and the treatment of intermediate products (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

2) the industrial production of pesticides, pharmaceutical products, paint, varnishes, elastomers and peroxides (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply); and

3) the setting up of storage facilities for petroleum, petrochemical and chemical products (with a total capacity of 10 000 tons or more).

7. Food industry:

1) industrial production of vegetable and animal oils and fats, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more;

2) industrial packing and canning of products of vegetable and animal origin, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more;

3) industrial production of dairy products, if more than 50 tons of milk per twenty-four hours are accepted (if 50 tons per twenty-four hours is the annual average figure);

4) brewing and industrial malting, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more;

5) the industrial production of confectionery and syrup, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more;

6) the construction of such animal slaughterhouses in which more than 25 tons of carcasses per twenty-four hours are processed;

7) the industrial starch production, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more;

8) the industrial production of fish products and fish-oil in undertakings in which more than 10 tons of fish per twenty-four hours are processed; and

9) the industrial production of sugar, if the production capacity is 10 000 tons per year or 25 tons per twenty-four hours and more.

8. Textile industry, industrial production of leather, wood and paper:

1) production of paper and board if more than 20 tons of product is manufactured per twenty-four hours;

2) pre-treatment of materials or the dyeing of fibres and textiles if more than 1 ton of materials is treated per twenty-four hours;

3) leather tanning in industrial amounts if more than 5 tons of the finished product is produced per twenty-four hours;

4) the production of particle boards and veneers, if the production capacity is 20 tons per twenty-four hours; and

5) the setting up of installations for the processing and production of cellulose (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply).

9. Rubber industry - the industrial manufacture and treatment of elastomer-based products.

10. Infrastructure projects:

1) the installation of industrial territories, if their area is 2.5 hectares and larger;

2) urban development projects (for example, construction of shopping centers, new water supply or sewerage external networks) if the total length exceeds 20 kilometers, or more than 300 vehicles in intended car parks);

3) railway infrastructure projects:

a) construction of new railway lines, if their length exceeds 2.5 kilometres,

b) construction of transshipment facilities and terminals, if the intended amount of freight is 10 million tons per year and more, except renovation of to the abovementioned objects (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

4) the construction of airfields (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply), except the installation of a helipad for medical, rescue and military needs;

5) the construction of a new road:

a) if its length is 1 kilometre and more,

b) if it is intended in a specially protected nature territory, is bordering with a specially protected nature territory or is intended within the distance of 100 metres from it;

51) the construction of harbours and port installations, also fishing harbours (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

6) the construction of new inland waterways, if their length is 500 metres and more;

7) the construction of dams and other installations designed for water storage if the water capacity in the reservoir exceeds 3 000 000 cubic metres;

8) the construction of new tramways and underground railways or other type of rail transport for the carriage of passengers, if their length is 2 kilometres and more;

9) the installation of pipelines for the transport of oil and gas, if the length thereof exceeds 20 kilometres;

10) the installation of aqueducts, if the total length thereof exceeds 20 kilometres;

11) the construction of dykes, moles and other constructions in the sea where changes in the coast are possible, except for the maintenance of existing buildings;

12) the abstraction of groundwater and the artificial recharging of groundwaters if the annual total circulation is 1 000 000 cubic metres or more;

13) the installation of artificial watercourses and bodies of water if they are longer than 0,5 kilometres or the area thereof is larger than 10 hectares;

14) projects designed for the transfer of water resources between river basins, if the amount of transferred water exceed 2 per cent of its flow;

15) installations of long-distance aqueducts and main water pipelines for the provision of water;

16) construction of dams, moles and other installations for the prevention of floods;

17) seashore reinforcement; and

18) the installation of such pipelines for the transport of carbon dioxide streams that are not covered by Annex 1 to this Law, including booster stations associated with the network of pipelines.

11. Other activities:

1) the installation of racing tracks and testing ground for motorised vehicles, if they are located within the boundaries of villages and towns or if their length is 1 kilometre and more;

2) installations for the disposal of waste (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

21) installations for the treatment and processing of waste, if their capacity is 5 tons per twenty-four hours (all activities to which Annex 1 to this Law does not apply);

3) the construction of waste-water treatment plants if the capacity thereof exceeds 20 000 human equivalents;

4) the construction of sludge-deposition sites;

5) the installation of scrap-iron storage sites (also territories designed for the storage of more than 300 scrap vehicles);

6) the installation of test benches (laboratories) for engines, turbines and reactors;

7) the setting up of installations for the manufacture of artificial mineral fibres;

8) the setting up of installations for the destruction or processing of explosive substances;

9) the installation of cemeteries (also the installation of home (room) pet animal cemeteries);

10) the construction of installations for the processing of such by-products of animal origin which are not intended to be used in food products;

11) areas for the sorting of hazardous waste;

12) the construction, reconstructions, renovation and restoration of buildings and structures in the protective zone of coastal dunes of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Rīga; and

13) the installation of soil placement areas in protected sea territories, except the protected sea territories "Nida-Pērkone" and "Rīgas līča rietumu piekraste".

12. Tourism and leisure:

1) installation of ski-runs, ski-lifts and overhead trams and the activities related thereto;

2) the installation of marinas for yachts and other small-size vessels, if they are intended for admission of more than 5 small-size vessels at the same time;

3) the construction of hotels, guest houses or hotel complexes outside populated areas and associated developments, if they can ensure admission of more than 25 persons at the same time or if they are intended in a specially protected nature territory;

4) the installation of permanent camp sites, if they can ensure admission of more than 25 persons at the same time or if they are intended in a specially protected nature territory; and

5) the installation of theme parks.

13. [5 June 2014]

14. Activities intended for the development (testing) of new methods and products and apply to the objects referred to in Annex 1 to this Law and which continue for not more than two years after they have been initiated.

 


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2015 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Document information
Status:
In force
in force
Issuer: Saeima Type: law Adoption: 14.10.1998.Entry into force: 13.11.1998.Theme:  Environmental rightsPublication: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 322/325 (1383/1386), 30.10.1998.; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 23, 03.12.1998.
Language:
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