This Law, recently approved by the Assembly of Extremadura, aims to improve the quality and usefulness of public services, as well as to comply with the principle of good administration. It follows the line already taken by many other Autonomous Communities, which have revised their regulations to enable the modernisation of their Administrations, thus allowing a greater guarantee in the fulfilment of their function of service to the general interest. This improvement of administrative procedures is an incessant social and business demand, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, further aggravated by the geopolitical situation and the energy emergency in Europe.
Among the procedures to be reviewed, those related to environmental protection cannot be overlooked, an area in which INNOGESTIONA AMBIENTAL carries out its work, advising citizens and companies on compliance with environmental regulations and the development of their projects.
It should be borne in mind that both in terms of strategic environmental assessment of plans and programmes and in terms of environmental impact assessment of projects, the regional regulations must respect the unitary legal framework defined by the basic state legislation on environmental protection, which, in this case, is set out in Law 21/2013, on Environmental Assessment.
Law 5/2022 dedicates its Chapter III to the adaptation of the content of Law 16/2015 of 23 April on Environmental Protection of the Autonomous Community of Extremadura to the new provisions of the aforementioned State Law 21/2013 of 9 December on Environmental Assessment, following the amendments made to it (it should be remembered that this law was amended by Law 9/2018 of 5 December, as well as by Royal Decree-Law 23/2020 of 23 June and, above all, by Royal Decree-Law 36/2020, of 30 December, approving urgent measures for the modernisation of the Public Administration and for the implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan), to provide greater legal certainty to the regional regulation on environmental assessment, generating a stable, predictable, integrated, clear and certain regulatory framework, facilitating the actions and decision-making of individuals and companies, without undermining the due protection of the environment and people’s health.
The streamlining of the processing of the different types of environmental authorisations has led to a reduction in deadlines, such as the twenty days instead of thirty granted to the affected public administrations and interested parties to issue an opinion on the strategic environmental document in the Simplified Strategic Environmental Assessment; or the reduction from three to two months of the deadline for the environmental body to draw up the scope document of the environmental impact study that a developer may request before initiating the Ordinary Environmental Assessment. With regard to the abbreviated environmental impact assessment procedure, which is properly autonomous, a modification has been introduced in the current Article 82, which regulates the request for reports, with only those that are mandatory because they are required by law being requested, with a reduction in the period for their issue from twenty to ten days, expressly contemplating the possibility of continuing with the processing of the abbreviated environmental impact assessment procedure if the report is not issued within that period.
In INNOGESTIONAL AMBIENTAL we will continue to accompany our clients throughout the environmental processing of the activities they promote from this new regulatory framework, ensuring the environmental compatibility of the same, compliance with regulations and trying to streamline the processing at all stages through the quality of the documents and studies provided.