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.
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.
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.
If for a certain area both basic environmental quality standards and special environmental quality standards are applicable, the most stringent environmental quality standard applies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The recovery programme comprises:
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.
At set intervals the Flemish Government or its appointed administration or institution evaluates the situation of the implementation of the recovery programme.
The provisions of this article are not applicable to land rehabilitation as referred to in the decree of 22 February 1995 concerning land rehabilitation.