During the course of an environmental impact assessment, the developer shall provide an opportunity for public consultations between the developer and interested members of the public, especially within or immediately adjacent to the geographical area of the proposed undertaking, in order: (a) to provide information concerning the proposed undertaking to the people whose environment may be affected by the undertaking; and (b) to record the concerns of the local community regarding the environmental impact of the proposed undertaking. At any time during an environmental impact assessment of a proposed undertaking the Department may invite written comments from interested persons concerning the environmental impact of an undertaking. The Department may forward the written comments to the developer who shall answer any pertinent questions raised in such written comments. The procedure for public contact and involvement shall be determined by the Department.
A person who has submitted an environmental impact assessment shall publish a notice, vetted and approved by the DOE, in at least two widely circulated newspapaers for two consecutive weeks with the information indicated in the regulations, including the location and nature of the proposal, stating that an environmental impact assessment has been prepared in respect of the proposal, naming a place where a copy of the environmental impact assessment may be inspected free of charge, and stating that any person may during the prescribed period make objections and representations. It shall also indicate the date on which the environmental impact assessment shall be available to the public. Upon receiving the environmental impact assessment, the Department may direct that copies of the environmental impact assessment be made available for inspection by interested persons.
The Department, on the recommendation of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, may require a public consultation in respect of any undertaking, project or activity in respect of which an environmental impact assessment is required. In order to determine whether an undertaking, project or activity requires a public hearing, the Department shall take into account certain factors such as the magnitude and type of environmental impact and the degree of interest in the proposed undertaking. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee shall comprise two registered non-governmental or private sector representatives.