Relevant Laws, Regulations and Guidelines

 

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LAWS

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  • Section 23AA (1) – Notwithstanding provisions of any other written law, from and after the coming into operation of this Act, all prescribed projects that are being undertaken in Sri Lanka by any Government Department, Corporation, Statutory Board, Local Authority, Company, Firm or an individual (hereinafter called as ‘Project Proponents’) is required to obtain approval for the implementation of such prescribed projects.
  • Section 23AA (2) – Approval is to be obtained from the appropriate Project Approving Agencies concerned or connected with the project.
  • Proviso of Section 23AA (2) – In certain projects determined by the Minister, the Project Approving Agency is to grant its approval only with the concurrence of the Authority.
  • Section 23BB (1) – It is the duty of all Project Approving Agencies to require from Project Proponents who submit any prescribed project for its approval to submit an initial environmental examination (IEE) report or an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report as required by the Project Approving Agency relating to such project within a specified time. The said IEE or EIA report must contain any such information and particulars as may be prescribed by the Minister.
  • Section 23BB (2) – PAAs on receiving an EIA, by notice published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages, notify the place and times at which such report shall be available for inspection by the public, and invite the public to make its comments, if any.
  • Section 23BB (3) – Any member of the public within 30days (from the date in which the notice is published) may make his/its comments, if any, to the Project Approving Agency which published such notice. Such Project Approving Agency where it considers appropriate in the public interest may provide an opportunity for such person to be heard in support of his comments, and shall have regard to such comments and any other material elicited at such hearing in determining whether the Project Approving Agency is to grant approval for the implementation of the prescribed project.
  • Section 23BB (4) – Where the Project Approving Agency grants approval for the implementation of any prescribed project, the project approval shall be published in Gazette and in one newspaper in each of the languages Sinhala, Tamil and English.
  • Section 23BB (5) – An IEE report submitted shall be deemed to be a public document for the purpose of Section 74 and 76 of the Evidence Ordinance and shall be available for inspection by the public.
  • Section 23CC – Project Approving Agencies shall determine the procedure it shall adopt in approving any prescribed project and the said procedure shall be based on the guidelines prescribed by the Minister.
  • Section 23DD (1) – Where a Project Approving Agency refuses to grant approval to a prescribed project, the aggrieved party has a right to appeal against such decision to the Secretary of the Ministry.
  • Section 23DD(2) – In such appeals, the decision of the Secretary of the Ministry shall be final.
  • Section 23EE – Where any alterations are being made to any approved project or where the said is abandoned, the Project Proponent shall inform the Project Approving Agency of such alteration/abandonment. And in the case of altercations, where necessary, the Project Proponent must obtain approval in respect of any alterations that are intended to be made. Approval for such alterations is to be given only with the concurrence of the Authority
  • Section 23FF – It is also the duty of all Project Approving Agenciess to forward to the CEA a report on each prescribed project for which it has granted approval.

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  • The EIA procedure under the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act is found in Section 16.
  • Section 16(1) – Upon receipt of an application for a permit to engage in development activities in the Coastal Zone, the Director-General may require the applicant to furnish an IEE or an EIA report relating to the development activity. Every IEE or EIA shall contain the particulars that are prescribed. The said categories of development activities in respect of which IEEs would not be necessary will be provided by the Minister by regulation.
  • Section 16(2) – Where the Director-General requests for an IEE, he may on receipt of the said report, if such report is sufficient, determine whether or not to grant the permit. He can dispense the requirement of providing an EIA report in such an instance.
  • Section 16(2A) – Where the Director-General considers the sufficiency of an IEE in determining the granting of a permit, he may submit a copy of such IEE to the Council for its comments.
  • Section 16(2B) – The Council shall, within thirty days of the initial environmental examination report being submitted to them, furnish its comments if any, to the Director-General.
  • Section 16(2C) – After considering the IEE submitted to the Director-General, if he considers that an EIA as necessary to arrive at a decision, he may require the applicant to submit an EIA report to him.
  • Section 16 (2D) – Upon receival EIA report, the Director-General shall submit a copy to the Council for its comments and by Notification published in the Gazette provide an opportunity for the public to comment within 30 days of such Gazette Notification.
  • Section 16(3)(a) – The Council shall, within sixty days of an environmental impact assessment being submitted to it under subsection (2D), make its comments, if any, to the Director-General.
  • Section 16(3)(b) – Any member of public within 30 days of the date on which the notice is published in the Gazette, make his comments if any to the Director-General within the said period.
  • Section 16(4) – In determining whether a permit may be issued authorizing a person to engage in a development activity within the Coastal Zone, the Director-General shall have regard to any comments made by the Council and the public on the EIA. And any development project is commenced by the Urban Development Authority in any area declared to be an urban development area under the provisions of Urban Development Authority Law, No. 41 of 1878.
  • Section 16(5) – The Director-General shall, within sixty days of the receipt by him of any comments made under subsections (2C), (2D) and (3). make the decision referred to in subsection (4).

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  • Section 9A of the Ordinance restricts development activities within one mile of a National Reserve.
  • Section 9A (1) – Subject to the provisions of section 3A, no person or organization, whether private or State shall within a distance of one mile of the boundary of any National Reserve declared by Order made under section 2, carry out any development activity of any description whatsoever without obtaining the prior written approval of the Director- General.
  • Section 9A (2) – Upon receipt of an application for a permit to carry out a development activity or trade or business within National Reserves, the Director-General may require the applicant to furnish an IEE or an EIA Report, as the case may be, relating to such development activity or trade or business. It shall be the duty of the applicant to comply with such requirements. Every Initial Environmental Examination Report or an Environmental Impact Assessment Report shall contain such particulars as may be prescribed.
  • Section 9A (3) – The Director-General, on receipt of an IEE or EIA Report, furnished to him by an applicant in compliance with any requirement imposed on such applicant, (a) submit a copy of such assessment or examination, as the case may be, to the Committee appointed by the DG in that behalf, for its comments, if any ; and (b) by notice published in the Gazette, notify the place and time at which such assessment or examination, as the case may be, will be available for inspection by the public and invite the public to make comments, if any, thereon.
  • Section 9A (4) – The Committee shall within sixty days of an IEE or EIA, being submitted to it, make its comments, if any, thereon, to the Director-General.
  • Section 9A (5) – Any member of the public may within thirty days from the date on which a notice relating to such assessment or examination, as the case may be, is published in the Gazette make his comments, if any, thereon, to the Director-General.
  • Section 9A (6) – In deciding whether to issue a permit authorizing a person to carry out a development activity or trade or business within the National Reserve area, the Director-General shall have regard to any comments made by the Committee and public on the EIA or IEE, relating to such activity, trade or business.
  • Section 9A (7) – the Director-General shall, within sixty days of the receipt by him of any comments made under subsections (4) and (5), make the decision referred to in subsection (6).

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  • Section 41 gives power to the Minister to specify Project Approving Agencies which can function as agencies giving approval to development projects in the North Western Province, and the Minister at his discretion can abolish, suspend or reconstitute such Project Approving Agencies.
  • Section 42 – Minister has the power to determine the projects and undertakings in respect of which approval is necessary by a Project Approving Agency for its initiation.
  • Section 43 (1) – Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, from and after the coming into operation of this Statute, all prescribed projects that are being undertaken in the North Western Province by any Project Proponent will be required to obtain approval under this Statute for the implementation of such prescribed projects.
  • Section 43(2) – The approval for prescribed projects are to be obtained from Project Approving Agency/ies identified by the Minister. Nevertheless, in the proviso to this section it stipulates that in respect of certain prescribed projects, the approval will be granted with the concurrence of the North Western Environmrntal Authority.
  • Submission of an EIA for the purpose of obtaining project approval is laid down in Section 44 of the North Western Province Environmental Statute.
  • Section 44(1) – The Project Approving Agency has a duty to require all Project Proponents to submit within a specified time an IEE or an EIA report as required by the Project Approving Agency relating to the project which contains such information and particulars as prescribed by the Minister.
  • Section 44(2) – The PAA on receipt of an IEE or EIA report, by notice published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each in the Sinhala, Tamila and English languages, notify the place and times at which such report shall be available for inspection by the public, and invite the public to make any comment.
  • Section 44(3) – Any member of the public may within thirty days of the date on which the notice is published, make his/her/its comments if any, to the Project Approving Agency. And where the Project Approving Agency considers appropriate in the public interest afford an opportunity to any such person of being heard in support of his comments, and shall have regard to such.
  • Section 44(4) – Where approval is granted to a project by the Project Approving Agency, such shall be published in one newspaper each in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
  • Section 45 – It is the Project Approving Agency which determines the procedure by which it approves any such prescribed project submitted to it for approval. But such procedure shall be adopted based on the guidelines prescribed by the Minister.
  • Section 46 (1) – Where the Project Approving Agency refuses approval of a project, the aggrieved party has a right to appeal to the Secretary to the Ministry.
  • Section 46 (2) – The decision of the Secretary shall be final, provided that before the Secretary makes a decision he/she obtains the observation of the advisory council.
  • Section 47 – Where the Project Proponent is carrying out any alterations to any prescribed project with approval or abandoning such project, the Project Proponent shall inform the Project Approving Agency of such alteration or abandonment as the case may be. Where necessary, the Project Proponent must also submit a fresh approval application in respect of any alterations that are intended to be made.
  • Greater Colombo Economic Commission Law No 4 of 1978 ( Board of Investment of Sri Lanka Law) (Link)
  • Tourism Act No. 38 of 2005 (repealing Ceylon Tourist Board Act No. 10 of 1966) (Link)
  • Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority No. 35 of 2007  (Link)
  • Antiquities Ordinance No.9 of 1940 (amended by Act No. 24 of 1998) (Link)
  • Mines And Minerals Act No 33 of 1992 (Link)
  • Urban Development Authority Law No. 41 of 1978    (Link)
  • National Heritage and Wilderness Act, No. 3 of 1988   (Link)
  • Sri Lanka Sustainable Development Act, No. 19 of 2017  (Link)
  • Archaeological sites of National Importance Act (No. 16 of 1990)
  • Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka Act, No 23 of 1979 (Link)

Regulations

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Projects and undertakings in respect of which approval would be necessary are as follows:

PART I

  • Projects and undertakings if located wholly/partly outside the coastal zone as defined by the Coastal Conservation Act
  • All river basin development and irrigation projects excluding minor irrigation
  • Reclamation of land, wetland areas exceeding 4 hectares
  • Extraction of timber covering land area exceeding 5 hectares
  • Conversion of forests covering an area exceeding 1 hectare into non-forest uses
  • Clearing of land areas exceeding 50 hectares
  • Mining and Mineral Extraction
  • Inland deep mining and mineral extraction involving a depth exceeding 25 meters
  • Inland surface mining of cumulative areas exceeding 10 hectares
  • All offshore mining and mineral extractions
  • Mechanized mining and quarrying operations of aggregate, marble, limestone, silica, quartz, and decorative stone within 1 kilometer of any residential or commercial areas.
  • Transportation Systems
  • Construction of national and provincial highways involving a length exceeding 10 kilometers
  • Construction of railway lines
  • Construction of airports
  • Construction of airstrips
  • Expansion of airports or airstrips that increase capacity by 50 percent or more.
  • Port and Harbour Development
  • Construction of ports
  • Construction of harbours
  • Port expansion involving an annual increase of 50% or more in handling capacity per annum.
  • Power Generation and Transmission
  • Construction of hydroelectric power stations exceeding 50 Megawatts.
  • Construction of thermal power plants having generation capacity exceeding 25
  • Megawatts at a single location or capacity addition exceeding 25 Megawatts to existing plants.
  • Construction of nuclear power plants.
  • All renewable energy based electricity generating stations exceeding 50 Megawatts.
  • Transmission Lines
  • Installation of overhead transmission lines of length exceeding 10 kilometers and voltage above 50 Kilovolts.
  • Housing and Building
  • Integrated multi-development activities consisting of housing, industry, commercial infrastructure covering a land area exceeding 10 hectares.
  • Resettlement
  • Involuntary resettlement exceeding 100 families other than resettlement affected under emergency situations.
  • Water Supply
  • All ground water extraction projects of capacity exceeding ½ million cubic meters per day
  • Construction of water treatment plants of capacity exceeding ½ million cubic meters
  • Pipelines
  • Laying of gas and liquid (excluding water) transfer pipelines of length exceeding 1 kilometer
  • Hotels
  • Construction of Hotels or holiday resorts or projects which provide recreational facilities exceeding 99 rooms or 40 Hectares, as the case may be.
  • Fisheries
  • Aquaculture development projects of extent exceeding 4 hectares
  • Construction of fisheries harbours
  • Fisheries harbour expansion projects involving an increase of 50% or more in fish handling capacity per annum.
  • All Tunnelling Projects
  • Disposal of Waste
  • Construction of any solid waste disposal facility having a capacity exceeding 100 tons per day.
  • Construction of waste treatment plants treating toxic or hazardous waste.
  • Development of all Industrial Estates and Parks exceeding an area of 10 hectares.
  • Iron and Steel Industries
  • Manufacture of iron and steel products of production capacity exceeding 100 tons per day using iron ore as raw material
  • Manufacture of iron and steel products of production capacity exceeding 100 tons per day using scrap iron as raw material Non-Ferrous Basic Metal Industries
  • Smelting of aluminium or copper or lead of production capacity exceeding 25 tons per day.
  • Basic Industrial Chemicals
  • Formulation of toxic chemicals of production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Manufacture of toxic chemicals of production capacity exceeding 25 tons per day.
  • Pesticides and Fertilizers
  • Formulation of pesticides of combined production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Manufacture of pesticides of combined production capacity exceeding 25 tons per day.
  • Petroleum and Petrochemicals
  • Petroleum refineries producing gasoline, fuel oils, illuminating oils, lubricating oils and grease, aviation and marine fuel and liquefied petroleum gas from crude petroleum.
  • Manufacture of petro-chemicals of combined production capacity exceeding 100 tons per day from raw materials obtained from production processes of oil refinery or natural gas separation.
  • Tyre and Tube Industries
  • Manufacture of tyre and tubes of combined production capacity exceeding 100 tons per day from natural or synthetic rubber.
  • Sugar Factories
  • Manufacture of refined sugar of combined production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Cement and Lime
  • Manufactures of Cement.
  • Manufacture of lime employing kiln capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Paper & Pulp
  • Manufacture of paper or pulp of combined production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day
  • Spinning, Weaving and Finishing of Textiles
  • Integrated cotton or synthetic textile mills employing spinning, weaving, dyeing and printing operations together, of combined production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Tanneries and Leather Finishing
  • Chrome tanneries of combined production capacity exceeding 25 tons per day.
  • Vegetable (bark) of combined production capacity exceeding 50 tons per day.
  • Industries which involve the manufacture, storage or use of Radioactive Materials as defined in the Atomic Energy Authority Act No. 19 of 1969 or Explosives as defined in the Explosives Act, No. 21 of 1956, excluding for national security reasons.

PART II

  • All projects and undertaking listed in Part I irrespective of their magnitude and irrespective of whether they are located in the coastal zone or not, if located wholly or partly within the areas specified in Part III.
  • The following industries if located wholly or partly within the areas specified in part III of the Schedule:
  • Iron and Steel.
  • Non-Ferrous Basic Metal.
  • Basic Industrial Chemicals.
  • Pesticides and Fertilizer.
  • Synthetic Resins, Plastic materials and Man-made Fibres
  • Other Chemical Products.
  • Petroleum and Petro-chemical products.
  • Tyres and Tubes.
  • Manufacturing and Refining of Sugar.
  • Alcoholic Spirits.
  • Malt Liquors and Malt.
  • Cement and lime.
  • Non-metallic Mineral Products.
  • Paper, Pulp and Paperboard.
  • Spinning, Weaving and Finishing of Textiles.
  • Tanneries and Leather Finishing.
  • Shipbuilding and Repairs.
  • Railroad Equipment.
  • Motor Vehicles.
  • Air Craft.

PART III

  • Within 100 m from the boundaries of or within any area declared under : the National Heritage Wilderness Act No. 3 of 1988,the Forest Ordinance (Chapter 451]
  • whether or not such areas are wholly or partly within the Coastal Zone as defined in the Coast Conservation Act, No. 57 of 1981.
  • Within the following areas whether or not the areas are wholly or partly within the Coastal Zone: any erodible area declared under the Soil Conservation Act (Chapter 450).
  • any Flood Area declared under the Flood Protection Ordinance (Chapter 449) and any flood protection area declared under the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Act, No.15 of 1968 as amended by Act, No. 52 of 1982.
  • 60 meters from the bank of a public stream as defined in the Crown Lands Ordinance (Chapter 454) and having a width of more than 25 meters at any point of its course.
  • any reservation beyond the full supply level of a reservoir.
  • any archaeological reserve, ancient or protected monument as defined or declared under the Antiquities Ordinance (Chapter 188).
  • any area declared under the Botanic Gardens Ordinance (Chapter 446).

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  • Project Approving Agencies are: National Planning
  • Irrigation
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Lands
  • Forests
  • Industries
  • Housing
  • Construction
  • Transport
  • Highways
  • Fisheries
  • Aquatic Resources
  • Plantation Industries
  • The Department of Coast Conservation.
  • The Department of Wildlife Conservation.
  • The Urban Development Authority
  • The Central Environmental Authority
  • The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau
  • The Ceylon Tourist Board
  • The Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka
  • The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka
  • Forest Department (Order published under GN No.1373/6)

Guidelines