Environment

State of compliance

Draft amendments to the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are currently being prepared. Further improvements of provisions related to the national EIA expert commission and its role should be made to fully transpose Article 5(3) of Directive 2014/52/EU. The composition of the EIA commission should include experts from various fields and in particular a biodiversity expert. Ukraine should also reconsider the option to establish a system for licencing/certification of EIA experts. Consultation with relevant authorities concerning the EIA reports should be improved as well as efforts to engage the public in early and effective consultations.

Strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) must be carried out during the preparation of the plans and programmes to integrate environmental considerations therein. The SEA process for the NECP should be initiated. Identifying the relevant authorities and the public concerned, as stipulated in Article 6 of the SEA Directive, including relevant non-governmental organisations, is a precondition for successful and effective consultations.

As regards legislation on the sulphur content of liquid fuels, Ukraine completed the transposition of the 1,00% sulphur threshold for heavy fuel oil and the 0,10% threshold for gas oil. The Directive’s provisions on marine fuels are also transposed. Efforts should be focused on implementation, especially systematic compliance monitoring of the products concerned.

With regard to large combustion plants, the key priority for Ukraine remains the implementation of the National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP). Amendments to the NERP were prepared, without a change to the annual emission ceilings stipulated therein. Ukraine complied with its reporting obligations in March 2021 by submitting its emissions data to the European Environment Agency for the reporting year 2020. The emission ceilings for all three pollutants were met and a significant decrease in all three pollutants was recorded. The main reason for this is the low amount of operating hours of the plant fleet due to Covid-19.

Nineteen large combustion plants are operating under the optout regime since 1 January 2018, meaning that they can use a maximum of 20.000 operational hours until 31 December 2023. According to the Secretariat’s estimates, several units of the Burshtynska plant are likely to reach the limit earlier than expected if the operational hours are not reduced significantly. In case this happens, the Secretariat will take enforcement action. Furthermore, 59 plants fall under the scope of Decision 2015/07/MC-EnC of the Ministerial Council, meaning that those plants may remain in operation for a maximum of 40.000 hours until 31 December 2033 at the latest. The operating hours of the plants concerned are reported together with emissions data.

The draft Law on the Territories of the Emerald Network was put on hold by the Committee on Anti-Corruption Policy for failing to meet the requirements of anti-corruption legislation. The provisional ban on activities in the absence of reasonable grounds for determining their negative impact on the territory of the Emerald Network in the draft Law is to be welcomed. Dialogue with local communities and civil society has to be ensured when conflicts between planned energy projects and nature protection goals emerge in particular for wind projects and hydrocarbons extraction.

The Environmental Liability Directive is partially transposed by the Law on Environment (civil liability), the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses (administrative liability) and the Criminal Code of Ukraine (criminal liability).