Preventing degradation of the marine environment, eliminating pollution and restoring ecosystems – proposals for specific actions in these areas will be the result of the second, key stage of updating the Marine Waters Protection Program (aPOWM). It will be accompanied by an environmental impact assessment of the proposals being developed, and then – in the third stage – public consultations.

On November 30, 2020, the first stage of the aPOWM project ended. The methodology developed therein, together with the analysis of the gaps, will be used in the second stage that has just begun, the product of which will be the aPOWM project, together with a strategic environmental impact assessment.

During the second stage, specialists will compile basic and ad hoc measures necessary to achieve or maintain good sea water status. Pursuant to Annex 1 of the Maritime Framework Directive (MSFD), 11 features have been defined on the basis of which the environmental assessment is issued. Among them there are i.a. biodiversity, hydrographic conditions and litter in the marine environment. On the basis of these features, an inventory of existing basic and ad hoc measures will be prepared, taking into account the activities:

  1. Affecting the permitted intensity of human activity
  2. Influencing the permitted degree of disturbance to marine ecosystems
  3. Affecting the location and completion date of planned projects
  4. Contributing to the identification of marine water pollution
  5. Which, for reasons of economic interest, encourage users of marine ecosystems to act in such a way as to achieve or maintain good environmental status of marine waters
  6. It serves to restore the disturbed elements of marine ecosystems to their previous state
  7. Providing all interested parties in achieving good environmental status of marine waters and aiming at increasing public awareness of achieving or maintaining good environmental status of marine waters

Due to Art. 13 (3) MSFD, Member States are required to check that the proposed solutions are cost-effective and technically feasible. Therefore, an analysis of the costs and benefits of ‘new activities’ related to their taking or possible omission will be carried out, as well as a proposal of deviations from taking actions and achieving environmental goals.

The final task of the 2nd stage is to conduct a strategic environmental impact assessment of the aPOWM project, which will be subject to public consultations in the 3rd stage.

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