The Riigikogu passed with 66 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management System Act (750 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Act is to bring the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management System Act into conformity with the European Union law. The definition of the strategic planning document is specified. A provision is added to the Act, according to which, upon deciding on the necessity of the strategic assessment of the environmental impact involved in the implementation of a strategic planning document, the opinion of the Environmental Board and all other authorities whom the potential environmental impact involved in the implementation of the strategic planning document is likely to concern has to be asked before making a decision. These authorities include, depending on the character of the strategic planning document, among others, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs and governmental authorities operating in their area of government, county governments, local government bodies and other relevant authorities. As one amendment, the rate of the mandatory environmental impact assessment of dredging of Lake Peipus, Lake Lämmijärv, Lake Pskov and sinking of solid substances into these lakes is equalised with the rate established with regard to the sea (10 000 m³). In practice, the limit applied to these lakes (500 m³) has proved too low. In case of other water bodies (e.g. small lakes), the rate of the mandatory environmental impact assessment remains 500 m³ as established in the regulation currently in force. 13 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act, nobody abstained.
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