According to Adamek, the amendment should speed up the processes thanks to measures to prevent the practice of so-called blank appeals. He recalls that by using this tool, for example, ecologists delayed the construction of the section of the D11 highway.
Will the amendment to the Line Act help to speed up the construction of infrastructure? MP Ivan Adamec from ODS and the director of the Green Circle organization Petra Kolínská are debating
“D11 has been built in the Hradec Králové region for decades. When we almost had a building permit and a contractor was selected, an environmental organization called. At the end of the deadline, she filed a so-called blank appeal. And what happens now? The process has stopped. A blanket appeal is a blank piece of paper, now they will have to fill in the submissions again and the result will be the same as before. But we have a delay again,” he says as an example.
According to him, most of the comments from the point of view of environmental protection should be settled in the EIA phase, which is the assessment of the effects of construction on the environment.
“But environmental organizations comment on all phases and always appeal, always find a reason. They can even submit a blank appeal after the deadlines. This is all wrong. The neighboring countries show us that if we want economic growth and development, we have to change this,” reminds the ODS deputy.
According to Kolínská, form appeals are often used by state institutions as well. According to her, the prevention of this practice will not speed up the permitting process.
“You have 15 days for a standard appeal. With a large construction and a large amount of documentation, this cannot be enough. Even the Directorate of Roads and Highways normally submits a form appeal. When you do, you have a new deadline to complete your submission. And we’re talking about weeks. The construction has been in preparation for x years and we are talking about whether the process will be extended by three or four weeks.”
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“The blanket appeal is not to blame for the fact that it is being built slowly here. The fundamental problem is that the Ministry of Transport, the state, the public administration do not have their analysis in hand, why things take a long time, and the deputies then blindly try various improvements,” he suggests.
Adamec does not agree with that. Amendments are not simple, and the idea that MPs do it ad hoc is wrong, according to him.
“Of course, there is cooperation with professional organizations, with people who work in the fields. It is also cooperation with ministerial officials and ministers. Where there was no agreement or at least a neutral opinion, the amendments had no chance of passing and they did not pass,” he says.
To move from a place
“The reality is simply that preliminary proceedings take an inordinately long time. And then we can only watch how things are being built in Poland, and we are not able to move from our place,” states ODS deputy Ivan Adamec.
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Kolínská emphasizes that environmental organizations are not behind the delay in the proceedings. According to her, the argument that associations are delaying has no basis in real numbers.
“When we asked the ministries and authorities to document specific examples or statistics of where and which associations were detained, they admitted that they did not have such records. There may be excessive cases, but the association has a deadline that must be met. It is in the order of weeks, never in the order of years. The fact that the matter then sits at the regional office for a year, two or three is not the association’s responsibility,” suggests the director of the Green Circle.
“Children of the Earth performed well in our region. It’s classic procrastination. They can’t do anything about it, it’s just procrastination and the weeks in the individual stages then turn into months and eventually years. The state administration can eventually deal with it, but it takes an awfully long time. That is why the linear law is being changed, which will eventually be called the Strategic Investments Act,” responds Adamec.
Listen to the entire Pro and Against Czech Radio Plus debate from the recording. Hosted by Jan Bumba.
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