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Updates about the Dutch Environment and Planning Act

Posted at 01/04/2020 by Monica Lanz

Developments happen fast in the field of Dutch Environment and Planning Law and have implications for the flood risk safety-norms, instruments and procedures. Here we list the updates from the corona time (April and March/2019) about the most important developments to keep AllRisk partners and interested users up-to-date.

Contact details

Monica Lanz

Utrecht University

01-04-2020: Covid-19: postponement of the Environment and Planning Act

The Dutch prevention and control measures for containing further spread of Covid-19 have a significant impact on the ‘already complicated task’ to implement the Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet) on the 1st of January 2021. The Dutch Minister for Environment and Housing announced that the implementation date will be postponed to make more time for preparations. A new date has not yet been set.

It’s important to note that the Environment and Planning Act is already accepted by both Chambers of the Dutch Parliament. The delay doesn’t mean that the content of the law will change.

In relation to our project All-Risk, this has the implication that the safety-norms, instruments and procedures in the Water Act will be in effect for a longer term. The risk-based approach will continue under the ‘Environment and Planning Act’ and the ‘Decree on the quality of the living environment’ (Besluit kwaliteit leefomgeving). Click here to find more legal information on this topic.

Infographic simplification of the environmental law. Source:

12-03-2020: Legislation update

Developments happen fast in the field of Dutch Environmental and Planning Law. One of the latest developments is that the cabinet wants to simplify the laws on the environment and planning, by combining them in a single Act: the Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet). Simplification here means that the Act will replace several laws, including the Water Act, the Crisis & Recovery Act and the Spatial Planning Act. This is relevant for our All-Risk project because the legislation for flood-protection in the Netherlands will be integrated as well. The Environment and Planning Act has already been approved by both Chambers of the Dutch Parliament. The legislation should take effect in 2021. For now, the approval of introductory legislation will be the next step in the implementation process.

In February 2020 the Senate of the Dutch Parliament accepted the introductory legislation of the Environment and Planning Act. Since March 2020 a ‘springtime version’ of the implementation of the Ministerial Decree on the Quality of the Living Environment (Besluit kwaliteit leefomgeving) is available. This ‘springtime version’ is now under revision of the Counsil of State (Raad van State). The introductory regulation for the Ministerial Regulation is expected to be ready at the end of 2020. Click here if you would like to read more about the legal aspects of the implementation of the new safety standards.

Last modified: 18/06/2020