The Environmental Report is a part of the documentation related to plans and programs, which identifies, describes and assesses possible significant effects upon the environment generated by the implementation of the respective plans and programs. This report is developed as part of the complete environmental assessment procedure applied with a view to obtaining the Environmental Approval for Plans and Programs.
Among the plans and programs that are subject to the environmental assessment procedure for obtaining an Environmental Approval, there can be mentioned: urban and land management plans, regional/national development programs, management plans, programs co-financed by the European Community etc.
Writing an Environmental Report
The Environmental Report must be developed observing the content requirements of the applicable Romanian legislation (Government Decision no. 1076/2004). The procedural steps must be carried out under the supervision of environmental protection agencies that decide whether the respective plans and programs would have significant impacts upon the environment.
The environmental report identifies, describes and evaluates potential significant environmental effects caused by implementing a plan or program, as well as its reasonable alternatives, taking into account the objectives and the geographical area of the plan or program. The information provided in the environmental report must be correlated with the level of knowledge and with the evaluation methods, as well as with the content, the level of detail of the plan or program and its stage in the decision-making process.
For plans and programs developed at the local or regional level, which are to be integrated into regional or national plans or programs that had already been subjected to environmental assessment, the environmental report must take into account the outcome of the current evaluation, the state of the plan or program in the decision-making process, as well as the extent to which certain issues are better evaluated at other decision levels, in order to avoid a duplicate evaluation.
Framework content of the Environmental Report
- A description of the content and main objectives of the plan or program and its relationship with other relevant plans and programs;
- A description of the current status of the environment and its probable evolution if the proposed plan or program will not be implemented;
- The environmental characteristics of the area that could be significantly affected;
- Existing environmental problems, relevant to the plan or program, including those related to any area that is of special environmental importance: Natura 2000 sites - Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Sites of Community Importance (SCI), protected natural areas of local, national or international interest, etc.;
- Environmental protection objectives, established at a community, national or international level, relevant to the plan or program and how they were taken into account during the preparation of the plan or program;
- Potential significant effects on the environment, involving aspects such as: biodiversity, population, human health, fauna, flora, soil, water, air, climatic factors, material values, cultural heritage, etc. and the relationship between them;
- Possible significant effects on the environment in a cross-border context;
- Proposed measures to prevent and reduce any adverse effects on the environment that are possible due to the implementation of the plan or program;
- Description of the reasons that led to the selection of the chosen alternatives;
- Description of the measures used in order to monitor the significant effects caused by the implementation of the plan or program.