Notifications and registrations
The general notification procedure
The general notification procedure, as provided by the Environmental Protection Act, is a procedure similar to the permit procedure and applies to certain activities that cause minor environmental impacts. The obligation to notify the activity is stipulated in Section 115a of the Environmental Protection Act, and the activities subject to notification are listed in Appendix 4 of the Act.
Under the general notification procedure, the authority issues a decision, subject to appeal, based on the information provided in the notification submitted by the operator. The information required in the notification is generally similar to the information required in an environmental permit application.
The notification is made using forms provided by the state environmental administration, which can be found on the website ymparisto.fi/en under the section ” Ympäristönsuojelulain mukainen yleinen ilmoitusmenettely”. This form is in Finnish. The notification is submitted to the competent authority, which in the general notification procedure is usually the municipal environmental protection authority. The notification must be submitted to the competent authority no later than 120 days before the intended start of the activity.
If the authority does not issue a decision within the specified time limit, the operator may start the activity at their own risk. Regardless of any subsequent appeals, the decision issued later must be followed. Compliance with the decision is monitored in the same way as compliance with an environmental permit.
A clear and comprehensive notification facilitates the prompt processing of the matter by the authority.
If the notification is incomplete, it can be supplemented once within a deadline set by the authority. If the notification is not supplemented within the specified deadline or remains incomplete after supplementation, the notification will not be examined, and the activity may not be started. If necessary, the operator can submit a new, supplemented notification to the authority, in which case the 120-day deadline starts anew.
Registration is a form of recording procedure that does not involve administrative decisions or the issuance of orders. The authority has the right to request the operator to supplement the notification to assess compliance with the registration requirements.
The activity to be registered must comply with the requirements stipulated in sector-specific regulations. The purpose of these sector-specific regulations is to standardize environmental protection requirements within each sector and improve their predictability.
The activities subject to registration include:
- Asphalt plants
- Liquid fuel distribution stations with a tank capacity of at least 10 m3
- Medium-sized energy production plants (with a fuel capacity of over 1 MW but below 50 MW)
- Concrete plants and concrete product factories
- Activities that use organic solvents
The operator submits a registration notification to the environmental protection authority of the City of Rauma no later than 30 days before starting the activity in the case of medium-sized energy production plants, and no later than 60 days before starting the activity for other registered activities.
The operator will receive a notification of the registration, and a fee will be charged according to the applicable tariff.
However, an activity cannot be registered if it is located in an important groundwater area or other groundwater area suitable for water supply, if the activity would cause water pollution, if the discharge of wastewater would contaminate a ditch, spring, or brook, if the activity would impose an unreasonable burden on the neighborhood, or if the activity is part of a directive facility. Registered activities must not be located in violation of the zoning plan. In such cases, an environmental permit must be obtained for the activity.
The authority ensures compliance with the sector-specific regulation requirements through monitoring of the activities.
According to Section 3 of Chapter 9 of the Maritime Environmental Protection Act, the port operator is required to prepare a waste management plan for the disposal of waste generated by vessels, i.e., ship waste. A recreational boating harbor can prepare a joint waste management plan with another recreational boating harbor.
The port’s waste management plan must be submitted for approval to the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) responsible for the area where the port is located. However, the waste management plan for a recreational boating harbor must be submitted for approval to the environmental protection authority of the municipality where the recreational boating harbor is situated.
The port’s waste management plan must be reviewed if there are significant changes in the quality, quantity, or waste management of the waste deposited in the port. If the waste management plan has not needed to be reviewed within three years of its approval, the port operator must send a notification to the relevant supervisory authority stating that the waste management plan is still valid. The supervisory authority may request a review of the waste management plan, specifying the aspects to be reviewed.
The port’s waste management plan must be approved if the waste reception and reception facilities comply with the requirements of Chapters 9 and 10 of the Maritime Environmental Protection Act, as well as the regulations and provisions issued under these chapters.
Once the port’s waste management plan is approved, the ELY Centre and the environmental protection authority of the municipality must enter the plan into the environmental protection information system as required by the Environmental Protection Act. The port operator must be provided with a copy of the registration entry.