One of the most anticipated acts in the environmental arena has now been adopted: the new Water Law. This statute with 570 articles enters into force on 1 January 2018 and will fundamentally change the rules for water management in Poland.
Businesses exploiting the environment are required to calculate and pay the relevant fees. The deadline for fees for 2016 is 31 March 2017. Certain exemptions entered into force on 1 January 2017.
The Polar Code entered into force at the beginning of 2017. It is a major event for companies in the maritime industry navigating in Arctic and Antarctic regions.
An environmental impact assessment report must contain a description of the alternatives for the proposed project that were studied: the investor’s proposal, the most environmentally beneficial alternative, and a reasonable alternative. The last notion raises the most doubts.
The amendment to environmental impact assessment regulations entering into force at the beginning of 2017 will also change regulations governing access to environmental information constituting trade secrets.
“Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such,” states the Water Framework Directive. The principle of the recovery of the costs of water services is being introduced to encourage savings and optimal use of water. This will be a substantial burden for many businesses.