English Summary


Procedure for case-by-case examination to be opened for public participation?

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a decision on the question if the public has to be granted access to the rationale of a decision, which determines that no EIA has to be carried out. The ECJ answered this question, which was brought to him from Great Britain with yes. This is not of particular relevance for Austria because decisions regarding the case-by-case examination if an EIA is necessary have to contain reasoning and have to be published. Nevertheless, in one paragraph the ECJ states that those case-by-case examination procedures have to be open to a review procedure. This is not the case in Austria at the moment, the procedure is carried out without the possibility for participation of the public and there is no possibility for review. In this sense the ECJ decision might be particularly relevant for Austria.



Public participation process fort he Austrian national water management plan has begun

On April 27 2009 the final public participation process for the draft Austrian national water management plan (NWMP) has begun. This process will last for six months during which it is possible for the public to deliver statements on the document. The creation of the plan is the result of an obligation contained in the “Water Framework Directive” according to which the member states should present a national water management plan by the end of the year 2009. The Austrian Ministry of the Environment has created a homepage which contains the draft document and further information and also allows for delivering statements online. http://wisa.lebensministerium.at/ (only in German)



Compliance with European air quality legislation postponed

The new European Directive on Air Quality (2008/50/EC) determines legally binding values for the concentration of particulate matter (PM10) in the air. There is an annual mean maximum level of 40 g/cubic meter that is binding and a daily mean value of 50 g/cubic meter that must not be exceeded more than 35 thimes per year. There are also other limit values for other air polutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or benzene but those are either not yet applicable or they are in most cases weakend by margins of tolerance for compliance. If a member state is not able to comply with the air quality standards for PM10, NO2 or benzene it may, under certain conditions, be granted a time extension. Austria has, as one of 18 other member states, asked for such a time extension regarding the polutant PM10. The decision of the Commssion is due in autumn.

geändert am 02.07.2009