Green Alternative’s Comments and Recommendations On Draft Law on Environmental Impact released by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia on May 1, 2015 for Public Discussion

I. General remarks

  1. It is unclear why “Environmental Impact” was selected as the title of the draft law, while the objective of the draft law is (or should be) protection of the environment from negative impacts. Similarly, it is unclear why “Environmental Impact Permit“ was left as the title of the permit.    
  2. Neither the initial articles of the draft law (goals, tasks, definition of terms), nor its subsequent text explains clearly the essence and meaning of environmental impact assessment.
  3. It is not legally correct for a competent authority to issue a permit as a result of making decision on the planned activity. As known, general rules of issuing licenses and permits in Georgia are defined by the Law on Licenses and Permits. This law clearly determines in what cases permits and licenses are issued. In particular, according to the law, a permit is the right to exercise an action, while a license is the right to exercise a certain activity. The law also distinguishes four types of licenses with one of them – activity license – being exactly in line with the content of the document that grants the right to exercise the activities offered by the draft law. It should be noted that the draft law mentions everywhere “an activity” rather than “an action”. Therefore, it is absolutely incorrect to carry out administrative procedures for issuing a permit.