Guidance notes

A Guide to the EIA Ordinance

7.4 Application for an environmental permit

A person who wishes to have constructed, construct, or operate a designated project listed in Part I of Schedule 2 or to decommission a designated project listed in Part II of Schedule 2 should submit an application in the prescribed form to the Director and pay the prescribed fee.

If the application for an environmental permit is submitted at the same time as the application for approval of EIA report, the environmental permit will not be issued until such time the EIA report is approved.

In granting or refusing an environmental permit and in determining the conditions to be specified in the environmental permit, the Director will consider such factors as the EIA reports approved under the Ordinance or placed on the Register, the conditions of approval of the EIA reports, the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process, and the attainment and maintenance of an acceptable environmental quality.

7.5 Application for a further environmental permit

Where the responsibility for a designated project for which an environmental permit has been issued changes, the person who takes up the responsibility should obtain an environmental permit. An application can be made for a further environmental permit in the prescribed form. The further environmental permit should be obtained before he or she assumes the responsibility. The applicant should pay the prescribed fee. The further environmental permit would be issued if the Director is satisfied that there has been no material change to the designated project(s) covered by the current permit and the findings in the EIA report are still relevant.

The current permit holder can surrender the whole or part of the environmental permit after ceasing to be responsible, by submitting a form to the Director.

7.6 Application for variation of conditions of an environmental permit

When the need for variation of conditions of an environmental permit arises, the permit holder could apply for a variation of an environmental permit under section 13 of the Ordinance in the prescribed form, and pay the prescribed fee. The application will be processed within 30 days.

A variation of the environmental permit would be issued without the need for an environmental impact assessment report if the Director is satisfied that there is no material change to the environmental impact of the designated project with mitigation measures in place and the designated project complies with the requirements in the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process. If an environmental impact assessment report is required, the procedures described in sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Ordinance should be followed.

7.7 Seeking confirmation as to whether contiguous projects are to be treated as a designated project

Section 26(6) of the Ordinance makes it an offence for a person or associated persons to separate contiguous projects, which collectively qualify as a designated project, to avoid the purposes of the Ordinance. A definition of associated persons is given in Schedule 1 of the Ordinance.

A person or associated persons may apply in writing to the Director under section 4(5) of the Ordinance for confirmation as to whether certain contiguous projects are to be treated as designated projects. Under section 4(4) of the Ordinance, the Secretary for the Environment may, after consulting the Director, specify in writing contiguous projects as a designated project and the Director will send a copy of that specification to the person or associated persons.

8. Time limits for the Director, the public and the Advisory Council on the Environment to respond

The time limits for the Director to respond to various applications and for the public and the Advisory Council on the Environment to comment on the project profile or the EIA report are described below:

 

Time limit for the Director

Time limit for the public

Time limit for the Advisory Council on the Environment

Application for an EIA study brief 45 days of receiving the application or further information 14 days of placing the advertisement 14 days of placing the advertisement
Application for permission to apply directly for an environmental permit 45 days of receiving the application or further information 14 days of placing the advertisement 14 days of placing the advertisement
Review of an EIA report 60 days of receiving the EIA report    
Public inspection of an EIA report   30 days of placing the advertisement 60 days of receiving the EIA report
Approval of an EIA report 30 days of the expiry of the public inspection period, or the receipt of comments from the Advisory Council on the Environment, or the receipt of further information    
Application for an environmental permit 30 days of receipt of the application (the same time limit as the approval of EIA report if the two applications are submitted at the same time)
   
Application for a further environmental permit 30 days of receipt of the application    
Application for variation of an environmental permit 30 days of receipt of the application    

 


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