Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 50: UN Economic Commission for Europe: Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, 1991
Commentary: The Convention (30 ILM 800 (1991), entry into force 1997) contemplates obligations of notification and consultation for all major projects likely to have significant adverse transboundary environmental impacts. Article 5 provides for consultation with affected Parties concerning the potential transboundary impact of proposed activities on the basis of environmental impact assessments without undue delay. Appendix I lists activities including crude oil refineries, thermal power stations, nuclear and chemical installations, constructing motorways, oil and gas pipelines, trading ports, waste-disposal, large dams and reservoirs, pulp and paper manufacturing, major mining projects and offshore hydrocarbon production. The criteria used to determine the environmental significance of activities not identified by Appendix I includes their size, location and effects (Appendix III). Appendix II outlines the content of environmental impact assessments and Appendix IV envisages an inquiry procedure providing inter alia for information confidentiality. See further, the 2003 Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment under the Espoo Convention (www.unece.org/env/eia/documents/protocolenglish.pdf). See also, EC Directives 85/337/EEC & 97/11/EC concerning Environmental Impact Assessment for individual projects and Directive 2001/42/EC concerning Strategic Environmental Assessment for plans, programmes and policies. Article 1: Definitions For the purposes of this Convention, (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) ‘Party of origin’ means the Contracting Party or Parties to this Convention under whose jurisdiction a proposed activity is envisaged to take place; ‘Affected Party’ means the Contracting Party or Parties to this Convention likely to be affected by the transboundary impact of a proposed activity; ‘Concerned Parties’ means the Party of origin and the affected Party of an...
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