Environmental Law (Law 4 of 1994)

Last updated: 15 February 2022

The Environmental Law outlines regulations pertaining to land, air, and water pollution and creates the Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), endowing it with the powers to enforce these requirements. 

Furthermore, it determines that companies operating in the field of oil exploration, extraction, refining, storage, and transport are subject to environmental impact assessment procedures during their licensing process. Also, firms holding an oil and gas permit must maintain a register of information related to their impact on the environment, including: 

  • Emissions or discharges;
  • Procedures of follow-up and environmental safety applied; 
  • Periodical tests, measures and their results; and 
  • The person responsible for the results reported. 

The EEAA conducts annual follow-up on companies registers. 

Other specific articles tackling the oil and gas sector under this law state the following:

  • Article 40 - Smoke and gas emitted from fuel-burning activities should be within the limits set by the environmental law and its executive regulation. The operators must take all the measures to decrease these emissions.
  • Article 41 - All parties working in the oil and gas sector should comply with the environmental law and its executive regulation, driven from the oil's industry international best practices.
  • Article 52 - All parties working in the oil and gas sector must release their pollutants according to the best technologies available and to the context of the international agreements.

The law was amended by law 9/2009 and partially amended by law 105/2015. The amendments were mainly terminology changes and new articles addition

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