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Minister Creecy withdraws amendment to EIA Regulations requiring consent from landowners for environmental authorisations

4 March 2022

On 3 March 2022, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy withdrew a 2021 amendment to Regulation 39(2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (GNR 982 of 4 December 2014) which required the consent of landowners (such as communities) where environmental authorisation is sought over land which is not owned by the developer.

Before the 2021 amendment to the EIA Regulations, developers were only required to consult with landowners. The amendment changed the position to require consent from landowners. This amendment has now been withdrawn.

According to the withdrawal notice, public participation processes for the amendment of environmental legislation had not been adequately complied with.

Regulation 39 of the EIA Regulations will revert to the following:

Activity on land owned by person other than proponent

(1) If the proponent is not the owner or person in control of the land on which the activity is to be undertaken, the proponent must, before applying for an environmental authorisation in respect of such activity, obtain the written consent of the landowner or person in control of the land to undertake such activity on that land.

(2) Subregulation (1) does not apply in respect of:

(a) linear activities;

(b) activities directly related to prospecting or exploration of a mineral and petroleum resource or extraction and primary processing of a mineral resource; and

(c) strategic integrated projects as contemplated in the Infrastructure Development Act, 2014.