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The SEA and how it works

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) procedure was introduced by EU Directive 2001/42/EC and transposed into Italian law with Italian Legislative Decree no. 152/2006, with the objective of "contributing to the integration of environmental aspects in drafting plans and programmes". The SEA procedure involves the Ministries of Economic Development, the Environment and Cultural Heritage, as well as local authorities.

Ongoing dialogue with the territory, including via the consultation process, enables us to jointly seek sustainable scenarios for the location placement of the works envisaged by the Electricity Grid Development Plan (DP). The SEA guides the consultation process through the indications contained in the reasoned opinion, which concludes the evaluation phase. The results of the consultation become an integral part of the SEA monitoring of the Plan implementation.

The SEA Portal, has been online since September 2011. It is used as a tool to support the Consultation and Monitoring phase.

THE SEA Procedure

Pursuant to current legislation, the SEA procedure of the National Transmission Grid (NTG) DP is divided into the phases shown below.

  • Preliminary
  • Drafting
  • Consultation
  • Valuation
  • Decision
  • Monitoring
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Determination of Eligibility

In the cases indicated in the regulation, determination of eligibility is necessary in order to establish whether a plan is subject to the SEA procedures; to this end, the Preliminary Report must include a description of the plan and the information and data required for assessment of the significant environment impacts the implementation of the plan will have (art. 12 of Italian Legislative Decree 152/2006).

The Preliminary Report

For all cases, including those that do not fall within the scope of the SEA verification, this regulation also requires the applicant and/or the relevant investigating authority (the Ministry of Economic Development, in the case of the DP) to conduct a consultation at the preliminary plan drafting stages with the competent SEA authority (the Ministry of the Environment, in the case of the DP) and with the other competent entities, ito define the scope and level of detail of the information to be included in the Environmental Report (art. 13, par. 1 of Legislative Decree 152/2006). This consultation takes place “on the basis of a Preliminary Report on the potentially significant environmental impacts of the implementation of the plan”.

On 18/04/2018, pursuant to art. 13, paragraph 1 of Legislative Decree no. 152/2006, Terna sent the Preliminary Report on the 2018 DP (PR 2018), to the competent authority, the investigating authority and other competent environmental stakeholders (ES), to define the scope and level of detail of the information to be included in the Environmental Report. On 19/01/2019, the Technical Commission of the Ministry of the Environment issued its opinion on PR 2018. It is hereby noted that the SEA procedure of the 2016 and 2017 DPs is still in progress.

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The Environmental Report on the impacts of the plan

The proposer (Terna) prepares the Environmental Report, which is an integral part of the plan and undergoes the approval process.

The Environmental Report identifies, describes and evaluates the significant impacts that the implementation of the plan could have on the environment and cultural heritage (Article 13 of Legislative Decree 152/2006).

Once completed, the Environmental Report is sent to the competent Authority and released to the public for the consultation phase.

Among other things, the Environmental Report includes the observations and opinion issued on the respective Preliminary Report.

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The opportunity to participate

As required by current legislation, the Ministry of Economic Development opens the consultation phase for the Development Plan and the relative Environmental Report, with a notice published in the Official Journal.

Anyone may submit written observations to the Ministry and Terna, within 60 days of publication of the notice in the Official Journal.

To facilitate the consultation of the mapping data relating to the Environmental Report, Terna has created a specific webgis map portal (SEA Portal) that is accessible to the public. It contains the maps produced as part of the environmental analysis of the plan interventions, depicted at an adequate scale.

Terna has sent the Environmental Report for the 2018 Dps(ER 2018) to the competent authority, the investigating authority and the other competent environmental stakeholders to enable them to start the consultation. MiSE (Italian Ministry of Economic Development) published the relative notice in the Official Journal of 13/7/2019.

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The conclusion of the SEA

As the competent authority for the SEA procedure of the DP, the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), the investigating authority, conducts the technical and infrastructural activities.

The Ministry acquires and evaluates the documentation submitted (Development Plan, Environmental Report and Non-technical Summary), as well as any observations received during the Consultation.

Finally, it issues its reasoned opinion within 90 days of the end of the Consultation (Article 15 of Legislative Decree No. 152/2006).

The Ministry of the Environment is currently preparing a reasoned opinion on the ER of the 2016 and 2017 DPs.

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Plan approval

The decision on the approval of the DP of RTN is the responsibility of the investigating Authority, which is the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE).

The preparatory steps required for the issuance of this decision are:

  • submission by Terna of the proposed plan and the environmental report to the competent authority (MATTM);
  • submission by the MATTM to the MISE of the reasoned opinion expressed in agreement with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the documentation acquired during the consultation.

Moreover, prior to its approval of the plan, in cooperation with the competent authority, the investigating authority makes the appropriate revisions to the plan (or the related environmental report), taking into account the results of the reasoned opinion.

A summary statement shall be published concurrently with the plan approval. This statement shall explain how the environmental considerations have been integrated into the plan

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Verification of the implementation of the plan

The purpose of monitoring is to ensure that the significant environmental effects resulting from the implementation of the plan are controlled and also to ascertain that the sustainability objectives are achieved.

Any unforeseen negative effects are therefore identified through monitoring and corrective measures are then defined, thus enriching the knowledge framework for subsequent plans.

The SEA Portal (currently being updated) includes a monitoring analysis conducted on the Plan and its interventions, in relation to the territorial, environmental and landscape-cultural components. /p>

Terna has recently submitted the second SEA Monitoring Report on the implementation of the DP (MR SEA), updated to 31 December 2016, divided into Part I, Part II and Part III.