New law lifts environmental assessment requirement for Arctic drilling
President Vladimir Putin signed a law on streamlining the mechanism of environmental assessments during Arctic capital construction projects. The law, due to enter into force on August 17, 2021, lifts the environmental assessment requirement for drill holes.
Under current legislation, project documentation for all permanent structures in the Russian Arctic is subject to federal-level state environmental assessments, which often make it impossible to quickly build important social facilities.
“The new law considerably reduces administrative barriers and excludes project documentation for social and transport infrastructure facilities that have minimal environmental impact from the list of facilities subject to environmental assessments in the Arctic zone. The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic compiles the list, and the Russian Government approves it. These facilities are not listed in the first and second categories; they are sited in communities and outside specially protected nature areas,” the press service of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said.
Project documentation for certain drill holes are also excluded from the list of facilities subject to environmental risk assessments under Sub-Clause 7.5 of Article 11 of the Federal Law on Environmental Risk Assessments. The same concerns documents for inter-municipal motorways due to be constructed and overhauled outside communities and specially protected natural areas.