EA rules to be applied at last to offshore oil and gas projects

Nine years past the legal deadline, the UK is finally on the way to applying the 1985 EC Directive on environmental assessment to offshore oil and gas projects. Draft regulations proposed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will open up the offshore licensing process to greater public scrutiny, although environmental organisations will need to be convinced that the DTI will not continue to invoke commercial confidentiality as grounds for withholding environmental information.1 One element of the proposals has already been overtaken by a recent amendment of the 1985 Directive.

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