ESIA profile

Updated to: 28 August 2019

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Contact & history

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Country contact

Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs
Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
Address: 30 Misr Helwan El-Zyrae Road, Maadi, Cairo
Tel: (202) 5256452
Fax: (202) 5256490
Web site: www.eeaa.gov.eg
E-mail: eeaa@eeaa.gov.eg

History of ESIA

Environmental Impact Assessment was introduced with Egypt's Environmental Protection law in 1994. 

Since 1994 the law has been amended several times.  In 2002, EIA procedures have been updated and EIA lists and forms were issued. In 2005 the law was amended by resolution no. 1741 and in 2009 by Law No. 9. 

El-Sayed A. Badr (2009) Evaluation of the environmental impact assessment system in Egypt, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 27:3, 193-203

Legal framework

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Framework/Enabling law

Environmental protection law no. 4, 1994

Guidelines of principles and procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment - 2nd edition - 2009.  

Guidelines

  • Guidelines of principles and procedures for Environmental Impact Assessment - 2nd edition - 2009.

EIA guidelines for the following sectors exist, to be used for category C projects: 

  • Oil and Gas;
  • Cement Manufacturing Plants;
  • Pharmaceutical Plants;
  • Land Reclamation Projects;
  • Assessment of Urban Development;
  • Development of Ports, Harbours and Marinas;
  • Municipal Waste Water Treatment Works; 
  • Industrial Estates Development.

The guidelines can be accessed via the website of the EEAA http://www.eeaa.gov.eg/en-us/services/eia.aspx

Sector specific procedures or regulations on EIA

As far as known, sector specific procedures or regulation on EIA does not exist.  

Scope of ESIA application

EIA is required for both governmental and private activities.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Institutional setting

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Central ESIA authority

The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) under the Ministry for Environment is the central authority on EIA. Main responsibilities are:

  • setting the requirements and criteria to undertake EIAs
  • issue EIA guidelines
  • review of the EIA reports

EIA guidelines, 2009. 

Other key (governmental) parties involved in ESIA, and their roles

  • Competent Administrative Authorities (CAA)
    While the EEAA supervises the application of the law, sectoral ministries and governing bodies are the competent administrative authorities for EIA. These Competent Administrative Authorities (CAA) have executive powers in the EIA process. 
    • They are involved in the initial screening. 
    • They check the EIA documents concerning the location of the activity and forward them to the EEAA for review. 
    • They issue licences for project construction and operation.

They are actually the main interface between the project proponent and the EIA requirements. When requested, they also provide technical assistance to the proponents and ensure the approval of the project site.

  • Line ministries are also consulted where applicable.
  • An independent review committee can be  established by EEAA to review the EIA in case of complex projects. 
  •  A permanent appeal committee  is responsible for assessing appeal to the review decision of EEAA.  

EIA guidelines, 2009. Annex 3

 

(De)centralisation of ESIA mandates

The EIA proces is centralised. 

ESIA procedure

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Overview ESIA procedure

The EIA procedure is dependent on the classification of the project in category A, B or C, ranging from little to adverse environmental impact.

  • Category A projects need to provide information on environmental effects and how to mitigate those effects. This information cannot be defined as an EIA report. 
  • Category B and C project result in an EIA report that is more extensive in case of the latter category.

Procedure:

  1. The proponent submits a letter of intent to undertake the activity to the CAA. This application should be accompanied by form A in case of Category A projects, form B for Category B projects and a full EIA report in case of Category C projects.
  2. The CAA sends the application to the EEAA for review and advice on approval including conditions.
    • For Category A and B projects, the screening decision is  combined with the project approval decision. Category A can be rejected, but not on the basis of environmental reasons only. Category B projects may be rejected, approved with conditions or requested to proceed with a full EIA.
    • As Category C projects are required to submit a full EIA report at this early stage, screening is effectively done by the proponent. The CAA and EEAA then proceed to review the EIA report on its quality.
  3. Scoping is not a obligatory stage in the EIA procedure. 

EIA guidelines, 2009

Screening

Screening process

Screening is a legally required step. Four categories of projects are distinguished:

  1. Category A: project with minimum environmental impacts;
  2. Category B: project with potential adverse environmental impacts;
  3. Category C: Projects with highly adverse impacts.
  4. List of projects that have special conditions but do not require EIA. 

The Competent  Administrative Authority (CAA) receives the application documents and officially notifies the proponent about the screening decision.

Special cases 

Some projects need to be classified differently, these include:

  • projects in areas that are environmentally sensitive;
  • projects for which an Integrated or Strategic/ Regional EIA has been prepared; 
  • expansion of existing facilities / project.   

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Contents of the starting document

The application document (screening form A) for Category A projects need to contain information on:

  • the location of the project;
  • description of the area where the project is proposed;
  • products and by-products, types of power supply, raw materials used and source of water (public, groundwater, surface water),  wastes resulting from the activity;
  • projects starting dates for construction and operation;
  • gaseous emissions, dust, temperature conditions and methods of control;
  • methods of protection and control of noise; and
  • description of any other mitigation measure.

For Category B projects (screening form B) require more information. In addition to the above:

  • a more detailed description of the area of the project, including   available infrastructure,
  • methods of discharge of waste; and
  • a preliminary analysis of environmental impact during operation and methods or mitigation, covering:
    a) impacts on the air quality
    b) impacts on quality and availability of water
    c) impacts on soil quality and fertility
    d) visiual impacts
    e) noise impacts
    f) other significant impacts 
    g) description of other measures
    h) measures undertaken to protect the health and safety of workers and fire prevention facilities.

For Category C projects a screening form does not exist. 

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Timeline Screening

The EEAA reviews the application of all three categories of projects within 30 days. There is however no information on the maximum number of days for the CAA to process the application documents to the EEAA and communicate the outcome of the screening decision.

EIA guidelines, 2009. 

Scoping

Scoping process

A formal scoping phase resulting in a scoping decision does not exisit.

  • For category B, EEAA might develop the ToR if a scoped EIA study is required.
  • For category C, the Proponent conducts scoping by making use of sector guidelines. 

EIA guidelines, 2009, 

Assessment

Assessment process

Category B and C projects need to cover environmental, economic, technical as well as landuse and socio-culture aspects.  

  • Methods for the assessment are not prescribed. 
  • Only for category C projects the proponent has to consult stakeholders. 
  • Only for category C projects the proponent has to develop and compare alternatives.   

EIA guidelines, 2009. 

Contents of the EIA report

Only for category C projects a table of contents for the EIA study is provided: 

  • executive summary;
  • policy, legal and administrative framework;
  • description of the proposed project;
  • description of the environment;
  • significant environmental impacts;
  • analysis of alternatives;
  • environmental management plan (incl. monitoring programm, description of mitigation measures);
  • publich consultation;
  • list of references;
  • appendices: list of environmental assessment prepares; records of attendees in public consultation meetings, agenda of public consultation meetings

Review

Review process

The CAA or the licensing body receives the EIA report (category B and C projects) and registers and executes an administrative compliance check. After a positive check, CAA sends the EIA report to EEAA for the technical review. 
The EEAA submits its advice to the CAA or the licensing authority and the CAA communicates it to the proponent.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Review expertise

EEAA uses internal reviewers and independent consultants for the review process from the Egyption universities and research centres.

In case of a complex project, an independent review committee can be established.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Timeline Review

The EEAA has 30 days to evaluate whether the project was correctly classified and review the quality of the EIA report.

The outcome can be the following: 

  • Approval of the EIA study/form, while indicating the environmental requirements with which the project proponent should comply
  • Objection of the EIA and a recommendation to refuse the project. Reasons for objection usually are related to environmental impacts of the project and the maximum carrying capacity for pollution in the project area.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Decision making

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Integration of ESIA into decision-making

The CAA's are responsible for project approval.

Based upon the review of the EIA report the EEAA decides on environmentally acceptability of the project. EEAA formulates conditions for project license to be approved by the CAA. 

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Timeline decision-making

No information

Follow up

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Compliance monitoring

For category B and C projects an Environmental Management Plan needs to be part of the EIA study consisting of:

  1. ummary of environmental aspects and impacts
  2. mitigation measures
  3. self-monitoring plan and
  4. institutional arrangements.   

Before the CAA grant the operation license, they review the requirements that the facility should abide to and undertake a field visit to check the compliance with the EIA approval conditions.

The EEAA is mandated to follow up entries in the register kept by the proponent to ensure that it conforms to the facts, to take samples as required and to conduct appropriate tests to determine the impact of the activities on the environment and the extent of its compliance with the conditions.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Non-compliance penalties

In case of violation of the environmental conditions the EEAA notifies the CAA to direct the owner of the establishment to rectify the violations. If the owner fails to comply within 60 days EEAA is entitled, in agreement with the CAA, to take legal and judicial procedures, such as halting the violating activity until compliance is ensured again.

EIA guidelines, 2009. 

Stakeholder engagement

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Public participation requirements for ESIA process stages

Public consultation is only mandatory for category C projects. Consultation has to be undertaken during the scoping phase and after the preparation of the draft EIA.

The proponent needs to prepare a public consultation plan before the start of consultation. The proponent will meet EEAA to discuss this plan. 

During the scoping phase either individual meetings  or unified meetings can be organised. The stakeholder are informed about the project and the aspects to be addressed in the study. Results are discussed with EEAA and taken into account for defining the content of the assessment. 

Public participation during the review phase takes place as a hearing session which involves representatives of all concerned parties. The participants will receive an executive summary of the study 15 days before the session. During the meeting, the results of the study and the mitigation measures are presented. A discussion follows where objections can be made regarding the presented mitigation measures.

The EIA report has a separate chapter on public participation. It should include:

  • the methodologies used
  • the analysis of the data
  • methodologies of the proponent to ensure the continuity of the consultation process during the construction and operation phases
  • commitments of the project owner to improve the surrounding environment and support the neighbouring communities.

Also documentation of the public meetings have to be attached to the EIA report.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Timeline for public comments

Not specified

Access to information

For category B and C projects the EIA report will be published on the website of EEAA.

EIA guidelines, 2009.

Appeal

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Possibilities for appeal

The proponent can appeal the EIA approval decision by the EEAA. The proponent should make an objection within 30 days to the Permanent Appeal Committee. This commmittee consists of a representative form the EEAA, the proponent or attorney, a representative of the licensing body, three experts selected as members for three years.

Law no 4. (1994) and executive regulations of law no. 4

ESIA practice

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Annual no. of ESIAs

In the period 199-2008 on average 12.000 category A, B and C projects were received by EEAA, on average 180 category A projects. 

El-Sayed A. Badr (2009) Evaluation of the environmental impact assessment system in Egypt, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 27:3, 193-203

Central ESIA database

The EEAA keeps a register of the applications, the EIA reports, forms, final results of the review process and measures that the project proponent has to take.

EIA guidelines, 2009.