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Environmental Licensing: what is it and who is it for?

27 FEBRUAR 2024
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Casas Sustentáveis Certificação Energética Comprar Casa em Portugal Construção Nova Mercado Residencial Obra Nova Portugal Sustentabilidade Licença de Utilização
Find out how recent changes to environmental licensing simplify procedures for companies and individuals, promoting sustainability.
Environmental Licensing: what is it and who is it for?
Source: Freepik
Author: Redaction

With the aim of simplifying bureaucratic procedures, changes to environmental licences were implemented in March 2023, making them more accessible. This process, although of greater relevance to companies, allows them to apply for a single environmental licence for works involving activities with an environmental impact.

What are environmental licences and who are they for?

  • Environmental licences aim to guarantee a high level of environmental protection, ranging from the preservation of air, water and soil to the prevention of noise pollution and waste production.
  • Required of any entity, regardless of economic activity, these licences ensure compliance with the environmental rules established by Decree-Law no. 127/2013.
  • The licence is not required for residential construction, unless it poses a risk to specific infrastructures. Doubts should be clarified with the Portuguese Environment Agency.

Single Environmental Licence (LUA)

This procedure centralises the issuing of the Single Environmental Permit (TUA), which consolidates all decisions relating to the environment, including requirements applicable to establishments, activities or projects.

Procedures covered by LUA:

    - Environmental impact assessment;
    - Prevention of major accidents involving dangerous substances;
    - Integrated pollution prevention and control;
    - European trade in greenhouse gas emission licences;
    - Waste management;
    - Incineration and co-incineration of waste;
    - Installations and activities using organic solvents;
    - Water resource utilisation permits;
    - Landfill operations;
    - Licensing of integrated centres for the recovery, reclamation and disposal of hazardous waste;
    - Waste management of mineral deposits and mineral masses;
    - Environmental impact assessment;
    - Air emissions regime;
    - Water production for reuse.
    
When it comes to licence applications involving other entities, the Single Environmental Licence is linked to the different economic activity regimes: the Responsible Industry System (SIR), the Regime for the Exercise of Livestock Activities (REAP) and the Regulation on Licences for Electrical Installations (RLIE).

How do I apply for a licence?

The application is made through the SILiAmb platform, provided by the Portuguese Environment Agency.

The first step in applying for a licence is to register on the platform. There are two ways to do this:
    - Through the Tax Identification Number (NIF) and Corporate Taxpayer Identification Number (NIPC).
    - Registering with your Citizen's Card

Fill in the form and, after registering, you must log in to access the platform. In the menu on the left, go to the Single Environmental Licence (LUA) module > Simulations > New Simulation. To complete this step, you must answer the questions on your licence application.

The simulator guides the applicant through the questions on the application, placing the activity within the applicable environmental regimes and calculating the Single Environmental Fee (TAU).

The application can be integrated or phased, depending on the applicant's choice, generating a form with the necessary data. Once submitted, it is possible to follow all the stages of the process until the Single Environmental Permit (TUA) is obtained.

Themen
Casas Sustentáveis Certificação Energética Comprar Casa em Portugal Construção Nova Mercado Residencial Obra Nova Portugal Sustentabilidade Licença de Utilização
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