Governors to decide on environment reports

Governors to decide on environment reports

Erdinç ÇELİKKAN ANKARA / Hürriyet
Governors to decide on environment reports

A view of Atatürk Forest Farm is seen in this file photo. The controversy over a ÇED report given over a construction in the farm is ongoing. HÜRRİYET photo

Local governors are to be given authority to decide whether an environmental impact assessment report (ÇED) is necessary for areas where mining, oil, natural gas or geothermal research will be done.

Forestry and Urbanization Minister İdris Güllüce issued a notice Feb. 27, which was enforced as of March 1, stating that governors would decide whether a ÇED report was necessary for the start of digging projects in any area.

Güllüce’s notice also added that governors must take into account the instructions from the ÇED General Directory in order to be in line with its decisions. It also said there was no need for a presentation file for projects that necessitate any ÇED report.

“There is no need for ‘representation of the area’ during the evaluation and examination processes for mining projects. If the owner of the license is the same, there is no need to prepare more than one file for more than one license,” said the notice.

ÇED reports are usually necessary for natural sites that may be negatively affected by a nearby construction or mining project. However, according to a new regulation passed last October, the Forestry and Urbanization Ministry has the right to decide whether a ÇED report is necessary for an area where a mining project is planned.

Ministry can tranfer duty to governors

“The ministry can transfer to governors the authority to decide whether a ÇED report is necessary,” said the October 2013 regulation. The government is working on easing ÇED conditions, which often take a long time to reach a decision due to bureaucratic burdens.

The applications of companies will have to be evaluated within 15 days, and the validity of a ÇED competence report will be increased from three to four years, according to new changes.