EIAs for all Government policies, plans - CEA | Daily News

EIAs for all Government policies, plans - CEA

The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has proposed to apply the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to Government policies and plans.

CEA Deputy Director General (Environmental Management and Assessment) Kanthi De Silva said the CEA can make more effective intervention if the EIA is necessitated at the policy and planning level of various projects.

She was speaking at a workshop for media personnel in Biyagama on Tuesday. CEA Chairman Chandraratne Pallegama said there had been instances where Cabinet approval had been granted for various projects prior to EIA clearance.

He said the CEA often comes under criticism when it fails the EIA of projects that had been approved by Cabinet. “Then we get the blame that we try to obstruct vital projects of the Government. The correct procedure is that the Cabinet approval must be given only after the EIA is passed. We have communicated this problem to the Government. As a solution, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had agreed to allow the CEA to bring in amendments to relevant legislation when taken up for the second reading. It was also agreed that the Cabinet will look into the recommendations of the CEA when such projects are given the green light,” he explained.

He pointed out that the recent Cabinet decision on palm oil cultivation also run into a controversy as CEA opinion was ignored.

Pallegama said the damage palm oil cultivation causes is greater than its benefits. Kanthi De Silva said the CEA came up with the proposal to conduct the EIA at the policy and planning level as the CEA finds it difficult to control the possible environmental issues when those came to the project level.


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