Environmental Protection and Investment Management for BOT PPPs

The Turkish Grand National Assembly introduced the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation (“EIA Regulation”) to the Turkish environmental legislation in 1993, the legislation has not fallen into place yet and is still subject to change almost on an annual basis, which remains the major problem in maintaining a balance between the need to protect the environment and ensure stability for the interests of investors.

According to the current EIA Regulation, neither of the specific PPP models is subject to special additional criteria for environmental impact assessments. So each specific PPP project still falls within the scope of the EIA Regulation, depending on the type and capacity of the project and of the facilities within the project area. Examples of projects that are within the scope of the EIA Regulation include hydroelectric power plants, petroleum pipelines, ports, airports and highways. Once it is determined that a project is within the scope of the EIA Regulation, investors cannot begin the construction until they either prepare an EIA Report and obtain a “positive” EIA Decision, or pass through certain evaluations and obtain a “not required” EIA Decision, depending on the project type. However, obtaining either EIA decision does not mean that the project will avoid future change in legislation or change in project. For example, if there is an increase in capacity or a change in the project, the relevant administrative bodies must be informed in order to evaluate the validity of the previous EIA decision.