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Consultation on Proposed New Water Resources Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has issued a consultation seeking comments on proposals to update its environmental impact assessment legislation in respect of agricultural water resources projects in order to transpose Directive 2015/52/EU

What is the Purpose of the Consultation?

To invite views on proposed changes to the Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 in order to reflect amendments introduced by the 2014 Directive. The Department is proposing to consolidate the current water resources EIA legislation and to update this with changes required as a result of the 2014 Directive.

Who will the proposals be of greatest interest too?

Those involved in Water management projects for agriculture, including irrigation and land drainage projects

What would the changes mean?

The main change proposed to the Environmental Impact Assessment process is that certain information currently required at the end of the EIA process (consent stage) is required upfront (screening stage). This should mean that the screening decision can be dealt with more effectively as there will be more detailed information available at this early stage. It will ensure any decisions granting agricultural water resources projects which fall within the scope of the Regulations will be made in the full knowledge of any likely significant effects on the environment.

The Department is proposing to revoke and replace the Water Resources (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005.

Responding to the Consultation and Further Information

You have until the 26th April 2017 to send your views and comments on the proposals set out in the consultation document to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Full details of how to respond are contained in the consultation document which can be accessed here https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-proposed-new-water-resources-eia-regulations-implement-directive-201452eu

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