Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) for the Existing Projects that are planned to have a Capacity Increase or an Expansion in Turkey


On 08.06.2016, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey (the “Ministry”) has published a Communiqué determining the procedures and principles for the projects intended to have a capacity increase and/or to be expanded and which have been already issued with an “EIA Positive” or “EIA Not Required” decision (“Communiqué”).


“EIA Positive” or “EIA Not Required” Decision to be taken by the Ministry.


Under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation (“Regulation”) dated 25.11.2014;


-  An “EIA Positive” decision is given, if the potential negative impact of the project on the environment is determined to be at an acceptable level as a result of the measures to be taken and that the implementation of the project would be considered unharmful to the environment.


-  An “EIA Not Required” decision is given for the projects that are subject to the Selection and Elimination Criteria by taking into account the evaluations made with respect to such projects. Similarly, a “EIA Positive” decision or, an “EIA Not Required” decision, as the case may be, is taken if the potential negative impacts of such projects on the environment are determined to be at an acceptable level as a result of the measures to be taken and that as a result realization of those projects are considered unharmful to the environment.


Projects subject to an EIA or to the Selection and Elimination Criteria are listed under the Regulation. Whilst projects subject to an EIA are listed in Annex 1 of the Regulation, projects subject to the Selection and Elimination Criteria are catalogued in Annex 2.  Owner of the projects listed in Annex 2 shall submit a project presentation file to the Ministry so as to determine whether the project shall be subject to an EIA, while an EIA application form is required to be submitted for projects that are listed in Annex 1 and subject to an EIA.


The Thresholds set out under the Regulation


The Communiqué states that depending on the total amount of the planned capacity increase and/or expansion (“enhancing revision”), owners of projects with an “EIA Positive” or “EIA Not Required” decision shall submit a project presentation file or an EIA application file to the relevant governorship. Accordingly,


-    If the total amount of the planned enhancing revision is equal to or above the thresholds specified in Annex 2 of the Regulation, the project owner shall submit a project presentation file (to be prepared as per Article 16 of the Regulation) to the relevant governorship. Such file will be examined during the EIA Selection and Elimination Process and then will be followed by either an "EIA not required" or an "EIA required" decision to be issued.


-    If the total amount of the intended enhancing revision is equal to or above the thresholds introduced in Annex 1 of the Regulation, the project owner shall submit an EIA application file (to be prepared as per Article 8 of the Regulation) to the Ministry. Following such a submission, the Ministry shall give either an "EIA positive" or an "EIA negative" decision.


As a significant matter, for those projects with a previous “EIA Not Required” decision, the evaluation as to whether the total amount of the planned enhancing revision reaches the thresholds set out in Annex 2 of the Regulation will be made by adding the existing capacity of the project to the planned capacity which shall be produced following enhancing revision.


EIA of the Projects Subject to an Enhancing Revision


The Communiqué sets forth that EIA of projects which have been previously awarded with an “EIA Positive” or “EIA Not Required” decision and which are planned to have an enhancing revision shall be assessed together with the environmental impacts which were determined during the previous EIA assessment.