Some businesses have complained that the draft decree of the Law on Environmental Protection would be a heavy financial burden on enterprises.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (MONRE), the Law on Environmental Protection, which takes effect on January 1, 2022, has many provisions aiming to drastically reform administrative procedures, and reduce enterprises’ time and costs for compliance with regulations.
MONRE joined forces with other ministries, branches, local authorities, organizations and experts to write a draft decree and publicize it on the Government and MONRE’s information portals for public opinion on June 15.
On August 30, MONRE continued working with enterprises on the content. The ministry has received comments and perfected the draft decree before sending to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for appraisal on September 16.
The ministry said the draft decree strictly follows the spirit of administrative reform as stipulated in the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection. Under the draft decree, 18 required procedures have been cut (34 percent), while seven types of licenses and certificates have been integrated.
As such, instead of following procedures to obtain many separate licenses, enterprises would implement one procedure to ask for environmental license if the draft decree is approved.
Article 30 of the Law on Environment Protection stipulates that EIA statements (environmental impact assessment) are required for projects belonging to Groups 1 and 2 with ‘sensitive environmental factors’. For example, projects discharging waste water into domestic water sources, or those located in natural reserves, forests, or cultural or historical relics.
Projects belonging to Groups 1, 2 and 3 that discharge waste water, dust and emission to the environment must treat the waste. If they discharge hazardous waste, the waste must be controlled under regulations on waste management.
Regarding procedures to grant environmental licenses, the draft decree version on September 16 reduces many requirements for documents. Project developers are only required to provide information related to the environmental protection work they have completed, the results of environmental monitoring inspections, and payment of appraisal fee for environmental permits.
The process of environmental permit granting has also been simplified depending on the characteristics of the project.
According to MONRE, the opinion that most enterprises have to experience two appraisals and two field work inspections doesn’t truly reflect the content of the Law on Environmental Protection and the content of the draft decree.
Regarding the projects that require automatic continuous monitoring, the ministry has agreed on a proposal by businesses that the deadline for installation of an automatic monitoring system should be the end of December 31, 2024.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has announced plans to strengthen inspections of industrial production models with risks of environmental pollution and strictly handle violations in 2021.
Authorities in the central city of Danang have announced a project to make the city an environmental city during the 2021-2030 period.