New Types of Projects That Required Submission of EIA and EHIA
The introduction of new types of projects that require the submission of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environment and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) reports will take place.
Under current regulations, projects, undertakings or operations (referred to as “Projects”) that meet the criteria outlined in the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) and its subordinate regulations must prepare and submit an EIA and/or EHIA report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).
To update the criteria for projects that require the preparation and submission of EIA and/or EHIA reports, the MNRE has released a draft version of the modified MNRE Notification. This draft includes (1) criteria for projects, businesses, or operations that must conduct an EIA report, as well as principles, measures, and conditions for preparing the report (referred to as the “EIA Draft Notification”) and (2) criteria for projects, businesses or operations that may have a significant impact on natural resources, environmental quality, health sanitation and the community’s quality of life. This also includes principles, measures and conditions for preparing the report (referred to as the “EHIA Draft Notification”).
Although the essence and necessary details within the EIA or EHIA report remain largely the same, there are several revisions summarized as follows:
1.EIA Draft Notification
Firstly, the scope of applicability of the EIA Draft Notification has been expanded. It now includes existing projects that were operational before the enactment of the EIA Draft Notification, if there is an expansion of Project or Project details modification falling under the criteria as prescribed, requiring them to prepare a report in accordance with the EIA Draft Notification.
Secondly, certain definitions of projects provided in the previous version of the EIA Notification have been revised. For example, the definition of the “Iron or Steel Industry” has been amended to provide more clarity. The EIA Draft Notification now specifies the type of steel, such as primary steel or intermediate steel, that is smelted or cast.
Another significant revision under the EIA Draft Notification is the introduction of new types of projects that require conducting an EIA. Examples include:
- Aerodromes or temporary takeoff and landing of aircraft on the water according to air navigation laws.
- Rail transport system.
- Land reclamation at sea or Songkhla Lake outside the original coastal line with an area of less than 300 rai except for reclamation for beach rehabilitation.
- Industrial zone or land allocated for industrial purposes according to the industrial estate law, factory law, or land allocation law.
2.EHIA Draft Notification
Similar to the EIA Draft Notification, the EHIA Draft Notification also includes significant revisions. These revisions involve (1) the scope of applicability, (2) certain definitions of projects (e.g. upstream petrochemical industry, with the revision specifying the use of raw materials from petroleum refining, natural gas and condensate) and (3) the introduction of new types of projects that require conducting an EHIA. Examples of these new types of projects include:
- Nuclear manufacturing that uses nuclear reactors.
- Radioactive waste management service facility.
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