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An environmental impact assessment (milieueffectrapport, MER) is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment. In the Netherlands, you may have to draw up a MER if you apply for an environmental permit or for a permit regarding dispensation from or amendments to a zoning plan. Both permits are part of the All-in-one permit for physical aspects (omgevingsvergunning).
In the MER you compare the environmental consequences of your project with possible alternatives. Whether you will have to draw up a MER depends on your activities and how detrimental they may be for the environment.
MER duty or MER evaluation duty
In some cases, a MER is mandatory. In other cases, the municipality or province will decide whether a MER is required. Activities that carry a MER duty or evaluation duty are listed in the annex to the Environmental Impact Assessment Decree (Besluit milieueffectrapportageMER scan (Dutch).
If the competent provincial authority has compelled you to draw up an MER, you may nonetheless be eligible for an exemption. For this, please contact the provincial authority.
Online application procedure via Message Box
In the province of Noord-Brabant you can use Message Box to apply digitally for an exemption on drawing up a MER. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.
Environmental impact assessment manual and guide
You will find a MER manual and MER guide on the Dutch knowledge centre InfoMil's website. The manual includes an overview of legal requirements with explanatory notes, while the guide provides you with tips and examples. However, this information is only available in Dutch. Please contact your municipality or province for any questions you may have regarding the MER.