Amendments to the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Impact Assessment" were recently adopted, in particular, changes were made in the part of holding public hearings, which are an integral part of this procedure. The changes were expected because the previous version of the law contained restrictions on holding real public hearings related to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, public hearings took place virtually by submitting written proposals to the relevant body that handled the case with the OVD. It is clear that with the new changes to the law, the return to real public hearings did not take place, taking into account the state of war, but instead, the hearings will be held in the already widespread and familiar recently format - online video conference.
For this purpose, the relevant body conducting the case (central or territorial) at the request of the business entity, before submitting an announcement on holding public hearings, appoints the date and time and creates a link to the online platform (WEBEX), which information must be displayed in the text of the ad. The hearing is organized by the body conducting the case, access to the video conference is free, anyone with a link can join it. At the same time, the rest of the attributes of public demonstrations, in accordance with the legislation, remained unchanged - a journal of registration of participants, a protocol and a video recording are kept.
For the first time, we took part in such online hearings for one of the objects, on which we conducted the procedure with the ATS and developed the relevant report. Without going into details, it should be noted that this is an infrastructural project that is relevant for the country and important for Vinnytsia, which will solve the urgent logistical and transport problem for the military state and for a peaceful future. Such projects inspire us, because it is like touching the future, which will definitely be bright and successful for us, and soon.
It should be noted that the online format is quite convenient and practical, because it saves a lot of time and resources that were spent on organizing and conducting real hearings. The platform allows you to conduct video communication, display a presentation on the screen and connect other media materials. Despite the certain limitations of online communication, because it is certainly impossible to replace real communication with a virtual one - nevertheless, video conferences have long become a normal practice - so you need to get used to them in this capacity as well.
Frankly, this applies to ordinary hearings with up to dozens of visitors, because it is difficult to imagine such conferences with hundreds of participants and/or heated discussions, which often accompany such meetings, in which we had to participate more than once. Therefore, for peacetime, the law provides for exactly this procedure - up to 10 participants are expected to be heard in the mode of a video conference, if more - in the format of a regular real off-site meeting.
The photo shows fragments of a public discussion in the format of a video conference.