The Environmental Management Act

Last updated: 15 February 2022

This law covers a wide range of activities to protect the environment, including environmental impact assessments, general rules, and enforcement. 

Activities that may have significant adverse effects on the environment require an environmental impact assessment (EIA). An EIA is mandatory for the construction of major infrastructure such as oil refineries, oil and gas pipelines, and for activities occurring within protected areas or areas that have already been seriously polluted. 

The environmental impact assessment must contain at least:

a)     a description of the activity with information about the location, design, size, and other relevant characteristics of the activity

b)    a description of the likely significant environmental consequences of the activity, 

c)     planned measures to avoid, prevent or mitigate likely adverse effects

d)    a description of reasonable alternatives   

e)     a non-technical summary

f)     any additional information requested

The competent authority has six weeks to take a decision. The decision will consider all possible consequences that the activity may have for the environment. If the application is approved, a council order is established including rules to protect the environment against any adverse effects the facility may cause (Article 8.40). 

Operators of a facility or transport pipelines with hazardous substances (including gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons) are obliged to provide data and information to the competent authority regarding safety (Article 12.13). 

Want to know more about this policy ? Learn more (Dutch)