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GUIDE 3: What is the purpose of your Environmental Impact Report comment?

Both European as well as Portuguese laws indicate the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment for specific type projects. Although the Portuguese government tried hard to by-pass the requirements for an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) for oil & gas exploration "Fracking" projects, the fact is that they are now complying.

The public consultation that is currently running, closes on 27 November 2018. This is your opportunity to participate and voice your concerns.

 

The documentation supplied by the concessionary Australis Oil & Gas for the concession areas of Batalha and Pombal is not yet a complete EIA report, it is instead documents indicating the information and areas of impact that their proposed EIA report will focus on.

The lead agency (which in this case is the Portuguese Environmental Agency) is responsible for analysing the information provided and all the comments received from interested parties. Based on that information they will then write their findings report.

However, this consultation process is not the time or the place for YOU to simply support or oppose a project although it may feel good to do so.

The purpose of the environmental review process is to flesh out all of the possible environmental concerns that can come with the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed onshore drilling for oil and gas using technologies non-conventionals such as hydraulic fracking in the concession areas of Batalha (Aljubarrota), and Pombal (Bajouca).

Providing effective comments is, one of the most important ways that the public has to effect change in a proposed project. During this public review period, the public must provide a written comment to become part of the record. If you do not comment, you forgo many of your rights to any recourse in the future if there were inadequacies that were not addressed.

 

Why should YOU comment?

  1. This public consultation process allows you to participate.
  2. Your input can help prevent or allow this project to go ahead.
  3. If you are generally not worried about this project, then consider that it may still be built in ways that negatively affect you, your home, your kids, your neighbourhood, or your council area. The only way to make APA (Portuguese Environmental Agency and the Government) aware of your individual, immediate concerns is to send in comments during this period.
  4. This is your opportunity to address any concerns related to scenic, aesthetic, historic, economic and environmental issues.
  5. If you don’t think your comments will have any effect, then consider that the only comments that are sure not to have any effect are the ones you don’t write. Those you do write must be considered and addressed.
  6. If you do not comment, you forgo many of your rights to any legal recourse in the future if there were inadequacies that were not addressed.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The guidelines in this article is intended to serve as a guide and is not intended to be legal advice. Please seek professional help from a lawyer if you have legal questions or concerns.

 

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