Hydro environmental procedure

Small hydropower projects that applied for financing under the BEERECL, were subject to the Hydro Environmental Procedure. The procedure includes the following five stages:


Stage 1.  Documents


Applicants had to send the following documents, as listed in the Eligibility Criteria for Small Hydro Power Project, to the consultant:


  • Signed waiver Letter,
  • Completed application form in English,
  • Supporting information (e. g. Environmental Impact Assessment report). 


Stage 2.  Review of the project by the Environmental Impact Expert (EIE)

The BEERECL programs EIE reviewed the project documentation.
Two situations occurred:

  • The project had an environmental permit based on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approved by the Bulgarian Authorities, where a site visit was not to be necessary, or.
  • The project had an environmental permit with an exemption from the Bulgarian Authorities for the EIA requirement, in which case the project site(s) had to be visited by the EIE.

The EIE findings were described in line with the EBRD’s environmental and social eligibility criteria.


The EIE determined if the project was in line with EBRD’s eligibility criteria and with Bulgaria’s national legislation.  If needed the EIE highlighted the outstanding issues in relation to the eligibility criteria. The EIE’s findings, including supporting documentation, were sent to the EBRD.


Stage 3.   EBRD environmental assessment

The documentation was reviewed by the EBRD’s Environmental Department, which either approved or rejected the opinion of the EIE within 5 working days. If the project was not accepted then the reasons why were stated.


Stage 4.   Environmental approval of project

The consultant informed the business and their Partner Bank of EBRD’s decision. All accepted projects were developed as per standard procedures.


Stage 5.   Environmental rejection of project

In case of non-acceptance, businesses were informed in writing and were referred to the  appeals procedure if needed.