European Union (Gas Act 1976) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2021

JurisdictionIreland
CitationIR SI 174/2021
Year2021

Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 16th April, 2021.

I, EAMON RYAN, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972 (No. 27 of 1972), and for the purpose of giving further effect to Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 20111 as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 20142 , Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 19923 (as amended by Council Directive 97/62/EC of 27 October 19974 , Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Union and of the Council of 29 September 20035 , Council Directive 2006/105/EC of 20 November 20066 and as amended by Act of Accession of Austria, Sweden and Finland7 , Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the European Union is founded8 and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 20099 (as amended by Directive 2013/17/EU of 13 May 201310 )), hereby make the following regulations:

Citation

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Union (Gas Act 1976) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2021.

Interpretation

2. (1) In these Regulations “Principal Act” means the Gas Act 1976 (No. 30 of 1976).

(2) A word or expression that is used in these Regulations and that is also used in Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Union and of the Council of 13 December 20111 (as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 20142 ) has the same meaning in these Regulations as it has in that Directive.

Revocations

3. The Gas Act 1976 (Sections 4 and 40A) Regulations 1990 ( S.I. No. 51 of 1990 ) are revoked.

Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act

4. Section 2 of the Principal Act is amended -

(a) by the insertion of the following definitions:

“ ‘Department’ means the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications;

‘Environmental Assessment Unit’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 40C;

‘EIA Directive’ means Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Union and of the Council of 13 December 20111 , as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 20142 ;

‘effects on the environment’ includes, in relation to a proposed pipeline, the effects of the construction and operation of that pipeline on the environment;

‘environmental impact assessment’, in relation to a pipeline which is the subject of application for consent under section 39A(1) or 40(1), means a process in respect of the construction and operation of the pipeline -

(a) consisting of -

(i) the preparation of an environmental impact assessment report in accordance with section 40A(1)(f),

(ii) the carrying out of consultation in accordance with section 40A(2) and, where relevant, section 40A(7),

(iii) the examination by the Commission or the Environmental Assessment Unit, as the case may be, of -

(I) the information presented in the environmental impact assessment report,

(II) any additional information provided in accordance with section 40A(5)(b), and

(III) any relevant information received through consultation under section 40A(2) and, where relevant, under section 40A(7),

(iv) the reaching by the Commission or the Environmental Assessment Unit, as the case may be, of a reasoned conclusion in accordance with section 40B(5) on the significant effects on the environment of the proposed pipeline, taking into account the results of the examination referred to in subparagraph (iii) and, where appropriate, its own supplementary examination, and

(v) the integration by the Commission or the Minister, as the case may be, of the reasoned conclusion referred to in subparagraph (iv) into the decision made by the Commission or the Minister, as the case may be, under section 39A(1) or 40(1), as the case may be,

and

(b) including an examination, analysis and evaluation by the Commission or the Environmental Assessment Unit, as the case may be, under section 40B (5) to identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect significant effects on the environment of the proposed pipeline, including the expected significant effects derived from the vulnerability of the proposed pipeline to risks of major accidents and disasters relevant to it, on -

(i) population and human health,

(ii) biodiversity, with particular attention to species and habitats protected under Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 19923 and Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 200910 ,

(iii) land, soil, water, air and climate,

(iv) material assets, cultural heritage and the landscape, and

(v) the interaction between the factors mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (iv);

‘environmental impact assessment report’ shall be construed in accordance with section 40A(1)(f);

‘proposed pipeline’ means -

(a) where an application has been made under section 39A(1) or 40(1) in respect of a pipeline, that pipeline,

or

(b) where a request has been made under section 40A(1)(bb) in respect of a pipeline, that pipeline;

‘relevant specified bodies’ -

(a) in relation to a proposed pipeline other than an upstream pipeline, means -

(i) all local authorities in whose functional area the proposed pipeline would be situated,

(ii) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(iii) An Taisce,

(iv) the Minister,

(v) the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

(vi) the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage,

(vii) the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media,

(viii) the Minister for Transport,

(ix) the Health and Safety Authority,

(x) the Environmental Pillar,

(xi) the Heritage Council,

(xii) Teagasc,

(xiii) Inland Fisheries Ireland,

(xiv) Inland Waterways Ireland, and

(xv) Bord Fáilte, and

(b) in relation to a proposed pipeline being an upstream pipeline, means -

(i) all local authorities contiguous to whose functional area the proposed upstream pipeline would be situated,

(ii) An Taisce,

(iii) the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine,

(iv) the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage,

(v) the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media,

(vi) the Minister for Transport,

(vii) the Health and Safety Authority,

(viii) the Sea-Fisheries Protection Agency,

(ix) Bord Iascaigh Mhara,

(x) the Marine Institute,

(xi) the Environmental Pillar,

(xii) the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, and

(xiii) the Heritage Council.”,

(b) by the designation of the section as subsection (1), and

(c) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(2) (a) A reference in this Act to an Annex is a reference to an Annex to the EIA Directive.

(b) A word or expression that is used in this Act that is also used in the EIA Directive has the same meaning in this Act as it has in the Directive.”.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report

5. The Principal Act is amended by the substitution of “environmental impact assessment report” for “environmental impact statement” in each place where it occurs.

Non-Application of certain declarations, Regulations in respect of pipelines where environmental impact assessment, appropriate assessment required

6. The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 39A:

Non-Application of certain declarations, Regulations in respect of pipelines where environmental impact assessment, appropriate assessment required

39B. (1) (a) A declaration by way of a notice under section 2(6)(b) of the Gas (Amendment) Act 1987 (No. 9 of 1987) in respect of a pipeline shall not apply in respect of a pipeline where an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment is required in respect of that pipeline.

(b) A declaration by way of a notice under section 2(6)(b) of the Gas (Amendment) Act 1987 in respect of a class of pipelines shall not apply in respect of a pipeline in that class where an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment is required in respect of the pipeline concerned.

(2) (a) Regulations made under section 12(2) of the Gas (Interim)(Regulation) Act 2002 (No. 10 of 2002) in respect of a pipeline shall not apply in respect of a pipeline where an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment is required in respect of that pipeline.

(b) Regulations made under section 12(2) of the Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002 in respect of a class of pipelines shall not apply in respect of a pipeline in that class where an environmental impact assessment or an appropriate assessment is required in respect of the pipeline concerned.”.

Amendment of section 40A of the Principal Act

7. Section 40A of the Principal Act is amended -

(a) in subsection (1) -

(i) by the substitution of the following paragraphs for paragraphs (a) and (b):

“(a) Where an application is made for consent under section 39A(1) or 40(1), as the case may be, in respect of a proposed pipeline that is of a class referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 5 to the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 600 of 2001 ), the proposed pipeline shall be the subject of an environmental impact assessment and, accordingly -

(i) where that proposed pipeline is a pipeline other than an upstream pipeline, the Board or the other person making the application to the Commission for consent under section 39A(1) in respect of that pipeline, shall submit an environmental impact assessment report in...

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