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Spain streamlines EIA rules

Spain has agreed to speed up environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures as part of a drive to cut administrative burden on businesses. Under draft legislation tabled on Friday, the duration of EIA procedures would be reduced from two years now to just four months. The European Commission has also proposed to simplify and shorten procedures at EU level. But the plan has been met with opposition in the Council where several Member States want a much less prescriptive system.  Madrid wants to extend EIA law to shale gas projects using fracking, a technology it strongly supports. The draft law will also create nature conservation banks, which allow developers to offset biodiversity loss resulting from certain projects.  NGOs including Ecologistas en Acción believe that shortening EIA procedures would negatively affect the quality of the assessments and the scope for public participation. READ MORE

Issue 26