Titel II.
Decision making and participation


Chapter I.
Environmental planning


Section 1.
Introductory provisions


Article 2.1.1. Environmental planning is understood as the activities aimed at achieving coherence in the preparation, the establishment and the execution of decisions relating to the environment.

Article 2.1.2. Translation not available

Section 2.
Environmental planning at regional level


Subsection 1.
The environmental report


Article 2.1.3.

The environmental report comprises:

  1. a description, analysis and appraisal of the existing state of the environment;
  2. a description, analysis and appraisal of the environmental policy implemented so far [to the extent relevant to the checking of the results of the implemented environmental policy against the policy objectives established in the environmental regulations or environmental planning];
  3. a description of the expected development of the environment with an unchanged policy, and with a changed policy according to a number of relevant scenarios.

Article 2.1.4.

Every two years an environmental report is drawn up.


Article 2.1.5. Translation not available

Article 2.1.6. The environmental report is brought to the attention of the provinces and municipalities.The environmental report is made sufficiently known in the manner determined by the Flemish Government.

Subsection 2.
The regional environmental policy plan

Translation not available

Article 2.1.7. Translation not available

Article 2.1.8. Translation not available

Article 2.1.9. Translation not available

Article 2.1.10. Translation not available

Article 2.1.11. Translation not available

Article 2.1.12. Translation not available

Subsection 3.
The regional yearly environment programme


Article 2.1.13.

The yearly environment programme is drawn up for the execution and putting into operation of the environmental policy plan and includes at least:

  1. a report of the state of execution of the prevailing environmental policy plan;
  2. a report of the state of execution of European environmental legislation;
  3. a report of the situation concerning the approval of the international agreements by the Flemish Region;
  4. a statement of the activities to be carried out by the Flemish Region in the coming year and measures to be taken in order to implement the prevailing environmental policy plan;
  5. a summary of the estimated incomes and expenses in the draft budget for the execution of the environmental policy plan;
  6. a list of all planned and current examinations and restoration programmes.

Article 2.1.14. [...]

Section 3.
Environmental planning at provincial level


Subsection 1.
The provincial environmental policy plan


Article 2.1.15.

1

The Provincial Council can in the course of the first half of the year following the elections for the Provincial Council determine a provincial environmental policy plan for the purposes of the protection and the management of the environment on the territory of the province.


The provincial environmental policy plan gives more specific details of the regional environmental policy plan at provincial level. Within the bounds of provincial competence, the provincial environmental policy plan can also complement the regional environmental policy plan. The provincial environmental policy plan must be in conformity with the compulsory provisions of the regional environmental policy plan.

2

The provincial environmental policy plan comprises a plan of action as referred to in article 2.1.7, 3. The provisions of the provincial environmental policy plan are indicative, except the provisions of the plan of action made compulsory by the Provincial Council. These provisions are compulsory for the province and the municipalities on their territory and for the institutions under their authority.

3

With the coming into force of each new regional environmental policy plan the existing provincial environmental policy plan can be revised. Provisions of the existing provincial environmental policy which conflict with compulsory provisions of the new regional environmental policy plan lose their validity ipso jure.


Article 2.1.16. Translation not available

Article 2.1.17. Translation not available

Article 2.1.17bis.

1

With the revision of the plan for the purposes of matching with the regional environmental policy plan mentioned in article 2.1.15, 3, a reasoned decision established by the Provincial Council suffices. The revised plan is announced to the bodies mentioned in article 2.1.17, 1.

2

Within a period of three months of the notification referred to in 1, the Flemish Government can nullify the provisions of the plan which conflict with compulsory provisions of the regional environmental policy plan by reasoned decision .


Article 2.1.18.

1

The Flemish Government can grant a subsidy to the provinces for drawing up a provincial environmental policy plan or yearly environmental programme. It determines conditions and the specific regulations to this end.

2

After the appraisal of the voluntary execution of the provisions of this subsection by the provinces, the Flemish Government can rule that the provinces must draw up an environmental policy plan from a period it determines.


Article 2.1.18bis. An environmental policy plan as mentioned in article 2.1.15 is drawn up for a first time in 2007. At that time it can also be decided to ratify or update the existing provincial environmental policy plan, possibly linked to an extension of the plan period. In this case a revision procedure as mentioned in article 2.1.17bis.

Subsection 2.
The provincial yearly environment programme


Article 2.1.19. Translation not available

Article 2.1.20. [...]

Section 4.
Environmental planning at municipal level


Subsection 1.
The municipal environmental policy plan


Article 2.1.21.

1

The municipal council can in the course of the second half of the year following the elections for the municipal council determine a municipal environmental policy plan for the purposes of the protection and the management of the environment on the territory of the municipality.


The municipal environmental policy gives more specific details at municipal level of the regional and provincial environmental policy plan. Within the bounds of municipal competence the municipal environmental policy plan can also complement the regional and provincial environmental policy plan. The municipal environmental policy plan must be in conformity with the compulsory provisions of the regional and provincial environmental policy plan.

2

The municipal environmental policy plan comprises a plan of action as referred to in article 2.1.7, 3. The provisions of the municipal environmental policy plan are indicative, except the provisions of the plan of action made compulsory by the municipal council. These provisions are compulsory for the municipality and for the institutions under its authority.

3

With the coming into force of each new provincial or regional environmental policy plan the existing municipal environmental policy plan can be revised.


Provisions of the existing municipal environmental policy which conflict with compulsory provisions of the new regional or provincial environmental policy plan lose their validity ipso jure.


Article 2.1.22.

1

The draft plan is drawn up by the Mayor and Aldermen.

2

With the drafting of the plan, the municipality involves the public authorities, institutions and organisations under private law it considers most relevant.

3

The Flemish Government can enforce specific regulations concerning the consultation and involvement of the bodies, institutions and organisations referred to in 2.


Article 2.1.23. Translation not available

Article 2.1.23bis. Translation not available

Article 2.1.24.

1

The Flemish Government can grant a subsidy to the municipalities for drawing up a municipal environmental policy plan or yearly environmental programme. It determines conditions and the specific regulations to this end.

2

After the appraisal of the voluntary execution of the provisions of this subsection by the municipalities, the Flemish Government can rule that the municipalities must draw up an environmental policy plan from a period it determines.


Article 2.1.24bis. A municipal environmental policy plan as mentioned in article 2.1.21 is drawn up for a first time in 2007. At that time it can also be decided to ratify or update the existing municipal environmental policy plan, possibly linked to an extension of the plan period. In this case a revision procedure as mentioned in article 2.1.23bis suffices.

Subsection 2.
The municipal yearly environment programme


Article 2.1.25.

1

The Mayor and Aldermen can annually establish a yearly environment programme.

2

[...]


Article 2.1.26. [...]

Chapter II.
Environmental quality standards


Section 1.
General


Article 2.2.1.

Each draft order entailing the establishment or changing of environmental quality standards is announced by the Flemish Government to the Flemish Council for the Environment and Nature, that provides reasoned opinion within a period of two months of receipt of the draft.


Insofar as necessary because of periods imposed by international obligations, the Flemish Government can shorten the advice period in the last paragraph, while respecting the minimum period determined in article 16, 2, of the decree of 18 July 2003 on the regulation of strategic advisory committees.


Article 2.2.2. Translation not available

Article 2.2.3.

1

A distinction can be made in the standards referred to in article 2.2.1 between basic environmental quality standards and special environmental quality standards.


Basic environmental quality standards determine the quality requirements to be met by the relative environmental constituent in the whole Flemish Region.
Special environmental quality standards determine the quality requirements to be met by the relative environmental constituent in areas requiring particular protection, either because of their use, or because of the function they serve or must serve.

2

If the Flemish Government intends to set particular environmental quality standards for areas with boundaries with neighbouring states or other Regions, they enter into prior consultation with the competent authorities of these states or Regions.

3

If for a certain area both basic environmental quality standards and special environmental quality standards are applicable, the most stringent environmental quality standard applies.

4

The Flemish Government evaluates and as necessary revises the environmental quality standards at set intervals as well as the areas for which special environmental quality standards have been imposed.


Article 2.2.4.

The environmental quality standards referred to in article 2.2.1 can be established in the form of limit values and guide values.


Limit values may not be exceeded, except in the case of force majeure. Without prejudice to the other provisions of this decree, the regulations imposed determine the measures to be taken by the designated authorities in the event of excess pollution or threatening excess pollution with the objective of protecting the relative interests of the environment.


Guide values determine the environmental quality level that must be reached or maintained to the extent possible.


Limit values and guide values can be imposed separately or in combination with each other.


Article 2.2.5.

1

When in a certain area for a constituent of the environment the actual quality of that constituent is better than required by the prevailing limit or guide value, the necessary measures must be taken to at least maintain this quality.

2

The actual quality of a constituent of the environment in a certain area for which a limit or guide value applies is established in accordance with article 2.2.6, 1 and 2.


Article 2.2.6.

1

The Flemish Government appoints the institutions or persons who are charged with the measuring of the quality of the different constituents of the environment for which environmental quality standards have been imposed in accordance with article 2.2.1.

2

The Flemish Government establishes specific regulations concerning the location and the frequency of sampling, the methods of sampling and analysis or other measuring methods to be used, the checking of the results obtained against the established standards, and the way in which and the frequency with which reports must be issued concerning these results.

3

if it appears from the results referred to in 2 that the applicable limit or guide values have not been complied with, the Flemish Government initiates an investigation into the causes of such non-compliance.

4

Upon simple request the public may dispose of the actual, non-interpreted measurement results. The Flemish Government determines the specific regulations and appoints the authority from which this information can be requested.


Article 2.2.7.

1

If it appears from the investigation referred to in article 2.2.6, 3 that the exceeding of a limit value is not the consequence of incidental and transient circumstances or that permanent threats to the environment have been caused, the Flemish Government or its appointed administration or institution draws up a recovery programme.

2

The recovery programme comprises:

  1. an inventory of all demonstrable sources of pollution or disruption with the indication of their contribution to the pollution or the disruption of the relative area;
  2. the emission reduction that must take place at these sources or other measures that must be taken to suffice with regard to the prevailing environmental quality standards;
  3. the policy instruments to be used to achieve this objective with the indication of the authorities competent for this purpose;
  4. the period within which this restoration must take place.

3

The recovery programme is forwarded to the authorities referred to in 2, 3 for further monitoring. If the cause of the exceeding of a limit is located in a neighbouring state or in another Region, the Flemish Government will consult with the competent authorities of this neighbouring state or Region.

4

At set intervals the Flemish Government or its appointed administration or institution evaluates the situation of the implementation of the recovery programme.

5

The provisions of this article are not applicable to land rehabilitation as referred to in the decree of 22 February 1995 concerning land rehabilitation.


Section 2.
Special provisions


Article 2.2.8.

1

The Flemish Government establishes special regulations for temporary situations of increased air pollution as a result of particular meteorological conditions.

2

These special regulations comprise limit values for air pollution of which their exceeding results in the initiation of a warning phase or alert phase depending on the case.

3

During the warning phase the relative authorities and the operators of major sources of pollution are informed of the fact that depending on the further evolution of the situation in the near future, the alert phase can be initiated.

4

During the alert phase the operators and authorities competent to this end implement the safety measures determined by the Flemish Government, while observing the severity of the situation with respect to these significant causes of pollution.

5

The Flemish Government also determines the way in which the public is informed and the measures with respect to the public that can be taken by the competent authorities.