EIA Country Report for Sri Lanka

Legal Framework
State, Country or Province: 
Sri Lanka
EIA law: 
National Environmental Act, No. 47 of 1980 (as amended 1988 & 2000)
EIA Regulations: 
National Environmental (Procedure for approval of projects) Regulations No. 1 of 1993 (as amended)
EIA Guidelines or Other Guidance: 
General and Sectoral Guidelines (Agricultural, Road & Rail Development) (not available online)
EIA Procedure
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Government projects
Projects Requiring EIA: 
Private projects
Abridged Assessments: 
Yes
Assessments Detail: 
There are provisions allowing for initial environmental examination (IEE) reports in Sri Lanka's legislative framework. According to the Central Environmental Authority, IEE reports are not required to be open for public comments. However, an IEE report shall be deemed to be a public document and shall open for inspection by the public.
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA: 
No
Who Conducts Screening: 
Government
Who Conducts Screening Detail: 
"The Minister shall determine. . . the activities in respect of which a licence is required to be obtained" under the Act. NE Act, sec. 23A(1) A consolidated list of the prescribed projects is maintained on the Central Environmental Authority's website: http://www.cea.lk/Prescribed_Projects.php
Criteria for Screening: 
List or appendix of project or activity types
Criteria for Screening Detail: 
Prescribed projects are listed in the EIA Regulations. A consolidated list of the prescribed projects is maintained on the Central Environmental Authority's website: http://www.cea.lk/Prescribed_Projects.php
Who Prepares EIA: 
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail: 
Project approving agencies must require an initial environmental examination or an environmental impact assessment from any public or private body seeking approval for a project. NEA, sec. 23BB
Who Pays for EIA: 
Project Proponent
EIA Contractor Qualifications: 
No
EIA Contractor Qualifications Detail: 
Although the EIA law and regulations do not discuss contractor qualifications, the Central Environmental Authority maintains a list of EIA consultants. A project proponent is not required to use a listed consultant.
Conflict of Interest: 
No
Terms of Reference (TOR): 
Yes
Terms of Reference Detail: 
The project approving authority sets the terms of reference for an initial environmental examination report or EIA report, as the case may be. 1993 EIA Regulations (no internal numbering). The TOR must be conveyed to the project proponent within 30 days of receiving preliminary project information. Id.
Days for Decisionmaker Review: 
60+ days
Automatic Approval: 
No
Written Decision: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions: 
Yes
Authority to Impose Conditions Details: 
Every licence shall "be subject to such terms, conditions and such standards as may be prescribed." NE Act, sec. 23B
Expiry of Decision: 
3 years
Expiry of Decision Detail: 
Every licence shall "be valid for such period as shall be specified in the licence, provided, it shall not be for more than a period of three years." NE Act. sec. 23B (as amended)
Financial Assurances or Bond: 
No
EIA Content
Interdisciplinary Team: 
No
Range of Alternatives: 
No
No Action Alternative: 
No
Mitigation Detail: 
The EIA law and regulations do not describe the required content of EIAs. This appears to be left to the discretion of the project proponent and case-by-case terms of reference.
Monitoring Plans: 
No
Monitoring Plans Detail: 
Monitoring is addressed after a project is approved - not during the EIA process.
Access to Information
Public Notice of Draft EIA: 
No
Draft EIA Available: 
No
Public Notice of Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final EIA Detail: 
On receipt of an EIA, the project approving agency shall publish a notice in one newspaper each in the Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages, notify the public of the place and times that the EIA shall be available for inspection and invite the public to make comments. NEA, sec. 23BB(2) (as amended)
Final EIA Available: 
Yes
Final EIA Available Detail: 
"The project approving agency shall make available copies of the [EIA] Report to any person interested to enable him to make copies thereof." 1993 Regulations (no internal numbering)
Final EIA Locations: 
Agency or ministry office
Final EIA Locations: 
Local government office
Fee to View EIA Documents: 
No
Fee to Obtain EIA Documents: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision: 
Yes
Public Notice of Final Decision Detail: 
"Where approval is granted for implementation of any prescribed project, such approval shall be published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages." NEA, sec. 23BB(4); see also 1993 Regulations, sec. 15
Public Participation
Public Scoping: 
Sometimes
Public Scoping Detail: 
When developing the terms of reference, the project approving agency may take into consideration the views of the public.
Public Review of TOR: 
No
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Scoping
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Public meetings and/or public hearings
Public Participation Opportunities: 
Review of final EIA
Public Meetings: 
Sometimes
Public Meetings Detail: 
The decision whether to hold a hearing is at the discretion of the project approving agency "where it considers [a hearing] appropriate in the public interest." NEA, sec. 23BB(3)
Public Input at Meeting: 
Yes
Public Input at Meeting Detail: 
NEA, sec. 23BB(3)
Criteria to Hold Public Meeting: 
Ministry or agency has discretion to decide whether to hold a meeting and/or hearing
Days for Public to Review Final EIA: 
30 days
Public Comments on Draft EIA: 
No
Public Comments on Final EIA: 
Yes
Public Comments on Final EIA Detail: 
The project approving agency must provide notice of the availability of the EIA report and invite the public to submit comments. 1993 Regulations (no internal numbering)
Response to Public Comments: 
Yes
Response to Public Comments Detail: 
The project approving agency "shall have regard to such comments and any other materials if any, elicited at [the public hearing], in determining whether to grant its approval for the implementation of such prescribed project." NEA, sec. 23BB(3). Upon completion of the public consultation period, the project approving agency must forward comments to the project proponent within 6 days. The project proponent must respond to such comments in writing to the project approving agency. 1993 Regulations, sec. 12
Facilitation of Public Participation: 
No
Judicial Review/Enforcement
Project Monitoring: 
Yes
Project Monitoring Detail: 
"It shall be the duty of all Project Approving Agencies to forward to the Authority a report which contains a plan to monitor the implementation of every approved project, within thirty days from granting of approval. . . ." 1993 Regulations, sec. 14
   Updated 17 Jun, 2014