23Y. For the purposes of this Part of this Act, the Minster may by Order published in the Gazette specify the state agencies (hereinafter in this Part referred to as “project approving agencies”) which shall be the project approving agencies.
23Z. The Minister shall by Order published in the Gazette determine the projects and undertakings hereinafter referred to as “prescribed projects”) in respect of which approval would be necessary under the provisions of this Part of this Act.
23AA. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, from and after the coming into operation of this Act, all prescribed projects that are being undertaken in Sri Lanka by any Government department, corporation, statutory board, local authority, company, firm or an individual will be required to obtain approval under this Act for the implementation of such prescribed projects.
(2) The approval referred to in subsection (1) shall have to be obtained from the appropriate project approving agencies concerned or connected with such prescribed project:
Provided however, in respect of certain prescribed projects to be determined by the Minster, the project approving agency will grant its approval only with the concurrence of the Authority.
23BB. (1) It shall be the duty of all projects approving agencies to require from any Government department, corporation, statutory board, local authority, company, firm or individual who submit any prescribed project for its approval to submit within a specified time an initial environmental examination report or an environmental impact assessment report as required by the project approving agency relating to such project and containing such information and particulars as may be prescribed by the Minister for the purpose.
(2) A project approving agency shall on receipt of an initial examination report or an environmental impact assessment report, as the case may be, submitted to such project approving agency in compliance with the requirement imposed under subsection (1), by notice published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages, notify the place and times at which such report shall be available for inspection by the public, and invite the public to make its comments, if any, thereon.
(3) Any member of the public may within thirty days of the date on which a notice under subsection (2) is published make his or its comments, if any, thereon to the project approving agency which published such notice, and such project approving agency may, where it considers appropriate in the public interest afford an opportunity to any such person of being heard in support of his comments, and shall have regard to such comments and any other materials if any, elicited an any such hearing, in determining whether to grant its approval for the implementation of such prescribed project.
(4) Where approval is granted for the implementation of any prescribed project, such approval shall be published in the Gazette and in one newspaper each in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
23CC. The project approving agencies shall determine the procedure it shall adopt in approving any prescribed projects submitted to it for approval. Such procedure shall be based on the guidelines prescribed by the Minister for such purpose.
23DD. (1) Where a project approving agency refuses to grant approval for any prescribed project submitted for its approval, the person or body of persons aggrieved shall have a right to appeal against such decision to the Secretary to the Ministry, of the Minister.
(2) The decision of the Secretary to the Ministry on such appeal of the Minister shall be final.
23EE. Where any alterations are being made to any prescribed project for which approval had been granted or where any prescribed project already approved is being abandoned, the Government department, corporation, statutory board, local authority, company, firm or individual who obtained such approval, shall inform the appropriate project approving agency of such alterations, or the abandonment of the case may be, and where necessary obtain fresh approval in respect of any alternations that are intended to be made to such prescribed project for which approval had already been granted:
Provided however, where such prescribed project that is being abandoned or altered is a project approved with the concurrence of the Authority, the Authority should also be informed of it and any fresh approval that need to be obtained should be given only with the concurrence of the Authority.
23FF. It shall be the duty of all projects approving agencies to forward to the Authority a report on each prescribed project for which approval is granted by such agency.