EIA Country Report for Malta

Legal Framework
State, Country or Province: 
Malta
EIA law: 
Environment and Development Planning Act, Cap. 504
EIA Regulations: 
Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2007 (S.L. 504.79)
EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Private projects
Abridged Assessments: 
Yes
Assessments Detail: 
For certain categories of projects an environmental planning statement is prepared. An environmental planning statement is defined as "a limited environmental impact assessment study presented as a report which describes a development listed in Category II of Schedule IA to these regulations and its effects on the environment indicating how these effects have been taken into account." EIA Regulations, sec. 2 (definitions); sec. 3(5); see also Schedule IA
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
EIA Regulations, sec. 7 (describing screening process)
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Criteria for Screening: 
Proposed project or activity may cause significant environmental impact
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
"Any development listed under Category I of Schedule IA to these regulations shall require a full environmental impact assessment by the preparation of an environmental impact statement. . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 3(4). The Director of Environmental Protection may require a project proponent to prepare a full EIA "if he is of the opinion that significant impacts are likely to occur having regard to the criteria set out in Schedule IB and a normal planning application or an environmental planning statement do not provide an adequate basis for evaluating such development." EIA Regulations, sec. 3(6).
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
"The applicant shall select the consultants to prepare an environmental impact statement from the register and communicate the names of the consultants so chosen to the Director of Environment Protection." EIA Regulations, sec. 11(1).
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
Who Pays for EIA Detail: 
"The applicant shall be responsible for commissioning an environmental impact statement or an environmental planning statement. . . ." If there is doubt about the quality or impartiality of the EIA the the Authority may commission an independent assessment at the expense of the applicant. EIA Regulations, sec. 9(1).
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
Yes
EIA Contractor Qualifications Detail: 
See generally Part VI of the EIA Regulations: Register of Consultants and Reviews. EIA consultants must meet certain qualifications and register with an independent board (Registration and Review Board).
Conflict of Interest: 
Yes
Conflict of Interest Detail: 
"In the interests of fairness, objectivity and the avoidance of bias, all consultants shall be required to sign, and abide by, a declaration that they have no personal or financial interest in the proposed development." EIA Regulations, sec. 29. A consultant's registration certificate may be revoked if the consultant submits substandard or deliberately misleading work in an environmental impact assessment. EIA Regulations, sec. 40(c)
Terms of Reference (TOR): 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
The Director of Environmental Protection prepares the final terms of reference. EIA Regulations, sec. 10(4).
Days for Decisionmaker Review: 
Not specified
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Written Decision Detail: 
The Authority must make a public statement containing "(i) the content of the decision and any conditions attached thereto; (ii) a statement containing the main reasons and considerations on which the decision is based, including information about the public participation process; and (iii) a description, where necessary, of the main measures to avoid, reduce, and if possible, offset the major adverse effects of the development." SL 504.79 44(4)(b)
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
The Authority may "include appropriate, and clearly specified conditions in the development permission." EIA Regulations, sec. 43(2)(a)
Expiry of Decision: 
Variable (at discretion of Authority)
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
The Authority may "establish the period within which the construction phase of the development shall be completed together with any planning obligations . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 43(2)(b)
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
Sometimes
Financial Assurances Detail: 
The Authority may request the project developer to provide a guarantee by a bank or credit institution to ensure compliance with development conditions. "The said guarantee shall not be less than the greater of the cost of reinstating the area to an acceptable condition, or the cost of reinstatement and repair of damages arising from non-compliance with conditions imposed in the development permission." EIA Regulations, sec. 43(2)(c)
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
No
Range of Alternatives: 
Yes
Range of Alternatives Detail: 
The EIA must include "[a] description of alternative sites considered, and alternative technologies that could be employed during construction and when in operation. . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 14(1)(c)
No Action Alternative: 
No
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Direct environmental impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Cumulative environmental impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Social impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Cultural impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Health impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Economic impacts
Type(s) of Impact Analysis: 
Other
Mitigation: 
Yes
Mitigation Detail: 
"A full environmental impact assessment for development shall involve the following procedures . . . designing mitigation measures[.]" EIA Regulations, sec. 13(d). "Where adverse effects are identified, the consultants shall state clearly what significance they attribute to these effects and the mitigation measures they propose to be incorporated in the development and evaluate their effectiveness." EIA Regulations, sec. 17
Monitoring Plans: 
Yes
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
"The consultants shall devise a scheme to monitor the impacts of the development which may arise during the construction and operational phases." EIA Regulations, sec. 18; see also sec. 13(e)
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
Yes
Draft EIA Available: 
Yes
Draft EIA Available Detail: 
The project proponent must publish notice of the availability of the draft EIA and where the document may be viewed. This information must also be posted on the land where the project is proposed to take place. EIA Regulations, sec. 24(5), (6), (7)
Draft EIA Locations: 
Internet
Draft EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Draft EIA Locations: 
Local government office
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
Notification of availability of final EIA must be provided by the project proponent. EIA Regulations, sec. 24
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Available Detail: 
The final EIA must be made available to the public via "public reference room" and a non-technical summary published on the internet; however, it is not clear whether the public must be notified that the EIA is available. See EIA Regulations, sec. 32; see also Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment Regulations, 2005 (requiring public access to environmental impact assessment documents)
Final EIA Locations: 
Internet
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Fee to View EIA Documents: 
No
Fee to Obtain EIA Documents: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies: 
Yes
Availability of Reference Studies Detail: 
"No material may be incorporated by reference unless it is reasonably available for inspection by potentially interested persons within the time allowed for comment . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 30(3). Proprietary data shall not be incorporated by reference. Id.. sec. 30(4). See also Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment Regulations, 2005
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
The Authority must publish notice of the decision in a newspaper and make the decision available for public inspection, free of charge. EIA Regulations, sec. 44(4)(a)
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Yes
Public Scoping Detail: 
"The Director of Environment Protection shall place an advert in a local newspaper, at the expense of the applicant, inviting the general public to inform him, within twenty-one days of publication of the advert, of issues that they would wish to see included in the terms of reference." EIA Regulations, sec. 10(3)(i)
Public Review of TOR: 
No
Public Review of TOR Detail: 
The public is permitted to submit comments prior to preparation of the terms of reference but is not permitted to review a draft. Once the final terms of reference is adopted, it must be disclosed to the public. See EIA Regulations, sec. 10(6)
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Scoping
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Terms of reference
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Review of draft EIA
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Public meetings and/or public hearings
Public Meetings: 
Yes
Public Meetings Detail: 
"After having certified the draft environmental impact statement the Director of Environment Protection shall arrange for a public hearing to take place, at which the public may comment on the environmental impact statement and express their views on the impact of the proposed development." EIA Regulations, sec. 25
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
"The Director of Environment Protection shall chair and regulate the proceedings of the public hearing. He shall, as much as is reasonable give every person present in the hearing who wishes to make any submissions the opportunity to air his views on the environmental implications of the proposed development. The language of the public hearing shall be in Maltese." EIA Regulations, sec. 25(7)
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Public meeting and/or hearing is automatically required
Days for Public to Review Draft EIA: 
22-37 days
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Draft EIA Detail: 
Comments may be submitted in writing or provided at a public hearing. See EIA Regulations, sec. 24(5) (written comments) 25 (public hearing)
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
No
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
The public is permitted to comment on the draft EIA, not the final EIA.
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
All public comments are recorded and collated into a report. "A summary of all the comments shall be presented in an appendix to the final environmental impact statement." EIA Regulations, sec. 25(8). "Prior to the submission of the final environmental impact statement to the Authority, the consultants shall further revise the environmental impact statement and the proposed development in the light of the written comments made by the public and the comments made during the public hearing." EIA Regulations, sec. 26(1)
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
No
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Citizen Administrative Review: 
Yes
Citizen Administrative Review Detail: 
Appeals may be lodged with the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal. See Art. 41, Environment and Planning Development Act, 2010 (available at http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=11407&l=1)
Citizen Judicial Review: 
Yes
Citizen Judicial Review Detail: 
"The decisions of the Tribunal shall be final. An appeal by the appellant or any of the appellate parties to the appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal constituted in terms of article 41(6) of the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure from such decisions only on points of law decided by the Tribunal in its decision." Art. 41(6), Environment and Planning Development Act, 2010 (available at http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=11407&l=1)
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
"When development permission has been granted by the Authority for a development which had been subjected to an environmental impact assessment under these regulations, the Authority shall monitor the implementation of the said development both during the construction and the operational phases." EIA Regulations, sec. 43(1)
   Updated 6 Jul, 2015