New legislation for the protection of the environment was entered into the official gazette on 9 November, and is due to come into force in one year's time. The act will require those responsible for new projects to carry out environmental impact assessments, and it will set standards for industrial emissions.
A new body, the Weather Forecast & Environmental Protection Authority, will be set up to administer the provisions. It will come under the umbrella of the Defence & Aviation Ministry.
The act specifies that project-licensing authorities will be responsible for ensuring that proper environmental impact assessments are included in feasibility studies. Projects will be required to 'use the best possible and proper techniques for the local environment and use the least polluting materials', according to an unofficial translation of the act prepared by the Law Firm of Yousef & Mohammed al-Jadaan.
Any company engaged in the burning of any type of fuel or other material for either industrial purposes or for the generation of energy will be required to ensure that the resultant emissions are within the permissible limits set out in the authority's environmental standards.
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