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New rules in play for filling station ESIAs

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A motorist fills gasoline at a private gas station in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

New rules in play for filling station ESIAs

The Ministry of Environment has issued a prakas for fuel, joint-fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) filling stations of all types and sizes, on the procedures for preparing the verification tables to be used in preliminary environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) reports.

Signed by minister Say Samal on June 29, the prakas took effect immediately.

The document is designed to make things easier for project owners to prepare a preliminary ESIA report and to speed up the approval process for these types of ventures, the ministry said, stressing that the legislation is consistent with Prakas No 021 dated February 3, 2020, on the ranking methodology to be followed in ESIAs for development projects.

Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said these preliminary reports are an important step in preparation for the development project’s full ESIA, and a necessary precursor for implementation.

He said the latest prakas would further strengthen the effectiveness of compiling ESIAs to another level.

“ESIAs on each investment project must respond to the [proportionate] impact [given] the project’s investment size. If the impact is too great, the company will not be licensed,” Vanak said.

According to the June 29 prakas, owners of fuel, joint-fuel and LPG filling station development projects – public or private – are allowed to recruit an environmental consultant to prepare preliminary ESIA reports, as long as they follow the document’s guidelines on compiling proper verification tables.

It said these reports require consultations with people whose lives might be affected by the proposed filling station project, as well as the relevant village and commune authorities.

As the case dictates, additional consultations with the administration of districts, towns, provinces or the capital, or relevant departments or inter-ministerial meetings may be required, it said.

The stipulations outlined in this document can be amended by the ministry, it cautioned.


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