The Environmental Code of 2001 aims to enable sustainable development and the rational exploitation of natural resources, protecting the environment against all forms of degradation.
This legislation has stipulations regarding any air pollution which disturbs the population, compromises public health or safety, is harmful to agricultural production, compromises the conservation of buildings and monuments or the characteristics of natural sites and ecosystems. Although methane is not expressly mentioned, it falls under the category of pollutant as defined by the regulation.
The Environmental Code is to be implemented by the Environment Ministry, while the Office for the Environment and Classified Installations is responsible for all questions relating to environmental impact assessments associated with permitting processes.
The legislation outlines that all development projects and activities which are likely to affect the environment must be subject to an environmental assessment. This is characterized as a systematic process to support sustainable development planning and decision-making in general, as well as to predict and manage negative impacts and consequences of development proposals. It includes environmental impact studies, strategic environmental assessments and environmental auditing. The law also requires public participation in assessment procedures, where appropriate.
In its Title IV, this regulation covers sanctions, including pecuniary and administrative penalties, as well as other dispositions.