Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development s a. r L. (Elard) Submitted to: Council for Development and Reconstruction

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1.4ESIA Report Structure

This updated ESIA study is executed in accordance with the Lebanese Environmental Protection Law No. 444 of 2002, the Lebanese Draft EIA Decree, as well as World Bank guidelines.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Introduction;

  • Legal and Institutional Framework;

  • Project Description;

  • Analysis of Alternatives;

  • Environmental and Social Baseline;

  • Public Participation;

  • Environmental and Social Impacts Assessment;

  • Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) including mitigation, monitoring, and institutional strengthening-capacity building and training;

  • Appendices

2.Legal and Institutional Framework


This chapter presents an overview of all environmental legislation and standards relevant to the construction and operation of the Awali-Beirut Water Conveyor Project. This section sheds light on the legal and institutional framework and identifies gaps and deficiencies in the national legal and institutional system.

The objective is also to ensure compliance not only with the Lebanese environmental laws and regulations, but also with the relevant international agreements, standards and guidelines of which Lebanon is signatory and to observe non-statutory corporate standards and good practice guidance.

2.2Institutional Framework and Sector Organization in Lebanon

      1. Institutional Framework for the Protection of the Environment

In 1981, a state Ministry of Environment was created for the management of environmental affairs such as the use of pesticides, deforestation and forest fires, solid waste disposal, protection of native biodiversity, etc.

In 1993, Law 216 established the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and defined its mandates and functions. Article 2 of this Law stipulates that the MoE should formulate a general environmental policy and propose measures for its implementation in coordination with the concerned government administrations. The article indicates that the MoE should protect the natural and man-made environment in the interests of public health and welfare, and fight pollution from whatever source by taking preventative and remedial action. The MoE is charged in particular with developing the following aspects of environmental management:

  • A strategy for solid waste and wastewater treatment and disposal, through participation in appropriate committees, conducting studies for this purpose, and commissioning appropriate infrastructure works;

  • Permitting conditions for new industry, agriculture, quarrying and mining, and the enforcement of appropriate remedial measures for establishments existing before promulgation of this law;

  • Conditions and regulations for the use of public land, marine and reverie resources in such a way as to protect the environment; and

  • Encouragement of private and collective initiatives that improve environmental conditions.

Law 216 was amended twice according to Decrees 5591/94 and 667/97 so as to strengthen the Ministry and reorganize its mission and prerogatives along four general policy principles; 1) Regionally balanced development, 2) Protection of the environment through preventative measures, 3) Adoption of the polluter pays principle and 4) Integration of environmental policies into other sectoral development policies.

The Ministry of Environment plays also a role in Coastal Zone Management (CZM), as mandated by law 690/2005 that specified the prerogatives of the Ministry as follows:

  • The formulation of strategies, policies, programs, and action plans for CZM;

  • The development of relevant legislation, and participation in the preparation of international treaties and protocols;

  • The promotion of awareness and guidance on CZM issues in the community;

  • The specification of environmental guidelines for:

  • The classification of establishments

  • Master plans for zoning (in cooperation with MoPWT)
  • The creation and exploitation of public beaches

  • Formulating the strategy, action plans, programs, and studies required for the integrated management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, domestic and industrial wastewater, in addition to monitoring their implementation;

  • Protection of the coastal zone and of territorial waters;

  • Monitoring air, soil and water quality; recommending preventive and corrective measures, and monitoring their application;

  • Regulating hunting and fishing activities in coordination with the MoA;

  • Controlling the use and disposal of chemicals;

  • Conducting inspection visits and stopping contraventions.

A major step was achieved when, in July 2002, a comprehensive environmental protection law – Law 444 - reflecting the policy principles mentioned above, was introduced. Law 444 sets the fundamental principles that govern the management of the environment and the use of natural resources.

In doing so, the Ministry of Environment does not undertake its environmental management efforts in isolation. Indeed a number of other government ministries and bodies have also environmental responsibilities Table 2 -8 lists the main stakeholders concerned with the environment.

Table 2 8 Main Public administrations and stakeholders concerned with the protection of the environment

Public Administration


Ministry of Environment (MoE)

MoE reviews, approves or refuses Environmental Impact Assessment reports prepared by engineering and/or consultancy firms for existing or for potential projects

Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW)

MoEW monitors surface and underground water quality. It also estimates water needs and uses in all the regions, and identifies the conditions and systems needed for surface and underground water exploitation. It then develops the schemes for distribution of water (drinking and irrigation).

Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MoPWT)

MoPWT manages, via its different directorates, roads, bridges and water channels. Through its different directorates, it manages land and maritime transportation as well as land use planning.

Higher Council of Urban Planning (HCUP)

HCUP is responsible for urban and rural planning. In doing so it reviews designs and plans of villages and towns, including zoning proposals for these areas. It also reviews project decrees aiming at expropriation.

Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)

MoPH is responsible for safeguarding and improving public health through for example setting allowable levels for contaminants in water, inspecting water quality in public beaches and tourist resorts and protecting water resources, specifically coastal underground water reservoirs.

Ministry of Interior (MoI)

MoI stops all kinds of infractions and violations.

Council of Development and Reconstruction (CDR)

CDR prepares all construction and development plans in the country. It also suggests the economic, financial, and social policies needed for the implementation of these plans and accordingly sets the priorities and presents them to the CoM for approval.


Represent the level of local government with legal status, financial and administrative independence, which exercises powers and responsibilities over the territory it is granted by law.
      1. Main Public Stakeholders concerned with the project

Several stakeholders play an important role in the management of natural resources and livelihood strategies within the Project area. These stakeholders and their mandate relevant to the project are presented in the sections below and summarized in Table 2 -10:
      1. Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW)

Since its creation, the Ministry of Energy and Water handles water issues and controls water privileges.

The new law organizing the water sector – Law 221/2000 - confirmed the ministry’s role in monitoring surface and underground water quality, setting the standards that should be adopted in the studies and execution of public investments related to water as well as identifying the conditions and systems for surface and underground water exploitation. It also enhanced the Ministry’s control over the water amounts extracted from underground aquifers.

Indeed, Article 2 of this Law enumerates the competencies and missions of the Ministry of Energy and Water as follows:

  • Monitoring, studying, and estimating the volume of water resources, and estimating water needs and uses in all regions;

  • Monitoring the quality of surface and groundwater and establishing relevant standards;
  • Developing a general scheme for the allocation and distribution of drinking water and irrigation water throughout the country; designing and continuously updating a Masterplan for water to be submitted through the Minister to the Council of Ministers (CoM) for approval;

  • Designing, studying, and implementing large water projects such as dams, mountain lakes, tunnels, diversion of riverbeds, water networks, etc., and overseeing their operation;

  • Protecting water resources against losses and pollution by elaborating legal texts and taking necessary measures and action to prevent water pollution and restore its initial natural quality;

  • Developing standards to be adopted in the studies conducted by Water and Wastewater Establishments, and the implementation of their works; in addition to guidelines and regulations for the exploitation of surface and groundwater and the management of wastewater, and standards for the protection and monitoring of water quality.
      1. Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MoPWT)

According to Decree 2872/1959 (Organization of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation) and its amendments, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is composed of five directorates having each its own prerogatives.

Of all 5 directorates, the Directorate General of Land and Maritime Transport and the Directorate General of Urban Planning are those that are mainly and directly involved in CZM.

Indeed, the Directorate General of Land and Maritime Transport (Decree 1611/1971) is responsible for all matters relating to land and maritime transport, the supervision of ports, marinas, and the public maritime domain, in addition to its authority on the Organization of Railways and Public Transport. Whereas, the Directorate General of Urban Planning (DGUP) is responsible for specifying and organizing land use planning through zoning of regions, specifying allowed investments for different land uses, as well as architectural constraints, and suitable conditions for ensuring the integration of projects within their surrounding from an aesthetic, architectural, infrastructural, environmental, and socio-economic point of view. As for actual enforcement, it is the responsibility of the local authority (municipality/ district) and the Security Forces. The DGUP interferes in the case of complaints, and plays an inspection role upon termination of building construction by verifying the compatibility of facilities with permit conditions and specifications.

On the other hand, the Directorate General of Roads and Buildings (Decree 13379/1998), is in charge of the design, execution and maintenance of roads, bridges, walls, and water channels. The Directorate also designs, expropriates, subcontracts and supervises works including maintenance of public buildings and assets. The presence of a Department of Environment and Traffic Safety within the Directorate General of Roads and Buildings should be noted, which is responsible for assessing the environmental impact of projected roads, and recommending mitigation measures.

      1. Higher Council for Urban Planning (HCUP)

The Higher Council for Urban Planning (HCUP) that was created in 1983 (decree-law 69/1983) is the party responsible for urban and rural planning. It comprises representatives from CDR, MoIM, MoPWT, MoE, MoC and other concerned ministries, municipalities as well as Order of Engineers and Architects. It can meet with the concerned parties (such as municipalities and public institutions) for discussing issues pertaining to them and it will give opinion regarding

  • Designs and plans of villages and towns, and zoning designs

  • Project decrees aiming at the creation of real estate companies, conducting expropriation and allotment

  • Revision of building permits and allotment

  • Projects aiming at modifying urban planning and building laws
      1. Ministry of Public Health (MoPH)

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is responsible for safeguarding and improving public health, through the prevention of disease, supervision of health care institutions, suggestion of new legislation or modification of existing ones. The MoPH consists of Central and Regional Departments, as well as a Department of Projects and Programs.

Besides suggesting the modification of laws and regulations relating to health prevention, as prompted by social and scientific developments; and preparing relevant project laws and decrees, MoPH is also responsible for setting allowable levels for contaminants in water, inspecting water quality in public beaches and tourist resorts and protecting water resources, specifically coastal underground water reservoirs.

The Ministry is also in charge of:

  • Conducting studies and suggesting protocols aiming at preserving the environment's safety from threats to public health;

  • Formulating project decisions on sanitary and preventive guidelines for all kinds of classified establishments;

  • Suggesting specifications and technical conditions required in the construction of sewage and potable water networks, and solid waste collection and disposal projects;

  • Suggesting classification of new types of industrial facilities, and re-classifying those that need reconsideration;

  • Approval of projects such as the establishment of slaughterhouses and construction of sewage networks.

With regards to the Regional Departments (or Public Health Services), they are distributed in all Governorates except in the Governorate of Beirut, and all districts. They are responsible for implementing health protocols in the Governorates, providing preventive and laboratory services. Sanitary Engineers in these services also give their opinion regarding the establishment of slaughterhouses and sewage networks in cities. As for the District Physicians, they monitor potable water quality, solid waste disposal, and sanitary guidelines in residential, recreational and occupational settings.
      1. Ministry of Interior and Municipalities

The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities is concerned with Lebanon's internal policy affairs, encompassing preparation, coordination, and execution; in addition to safeguarding discipline and security; overseeing the affairs of governorates, districts, municipalities, unions of municipalities, the Independent Municipal Fund, mayors, local elected councils, villages, parties, NGOs; and managing motor vehicle and traffic affairs, etc.

The Ministry of Interior and Municipalities is composed of several distinct directorates having different prerogatives as set in Decree 4082/2000.

The Directorate General of Administrative and Local Councils mainly has a supervisory and monitoring role over municipalities, which are themselves directly in charge of CZM and other issues. Overseeing the application of laws and regulations relating to local affairs, municipalities and their unions, and other local councils; suggesting plans and developing studies aiming at the development of local life and activities and promoting public participation in them, and submitting these studies to the Minister of Interior and Municipalities;

The Directorate General of Internal Security Forces plays a monitoring and enforcement role in CZM through an enforcement body consisting of the Coastal Brigade Command and the Coastal Detachments, responsible for implementing laws and regulations relating to coastal control and for sanctioning violations, in coordination with the enforcement body affiliated to the MoPWT. Its duties cover the parts of the coast situated within the municipal authority and outside ports and harbors.

      1. Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR)

The CDR is a public institution that was created in 1977 - in partial replacement of the Ministry of Planning - to be the Government unit responsible for reconstruction and development. CDR has unprecedented powers to avoid any administrative routine that could slow down the reconstruction process, especially in the financial field. It is financially and administratively independent, and directly affiliated to the Council of Ministers (CoM). Decree 5/1977 specified CDR’s responsibilities which are formulated around 4 main axes (i) Planning, (ii) Consultancy and Guidance, (iii) Financial, (iv) Implementation and Monitoring. These are to be implemented in cooperation with other ministries and stakeholders and can be summarized as follows:


  • Development of a general plan, consecutive plans and programs for construction and development activities; in addition to the suggestion of economic, financial, and social policy in line with the general plan. All of these plans and policies are submitted for approval to the CoM;

  • Developing a budget for the implementation of the general plan;

  • Suggesting project laws relating to construction and development and presenting them to the CoM;

  • Developing a general guidance framework for urban planning and presenting it to the CoM for approval.

Consultancy and Guidance

  • Giving opinion to the CoM on economic and financial relationships with other countries, foreign associations and organizations;
  • Getting in contact with foreign associations and organizations for the purpose of seeking economic, cultural, technical and social assistance;

  • Preparing and publishing statistical studies relating to economic and social activities and projects;

  • Conducting the necessary studies in the developmental and construction fields, or designating qualified parties to conduct them, and suggesting the enhancement of the Council's scientific capabilities;

  • Requesting ministries, public institutions, and municipalities to prepare projects in line with the Council's developmental and construction overall objectives;

  • Providing relevant information for ministries, public institutions, municipalities, and the private sector;

  • Giving suggestions on the creation, development and guidance of financial establishments and companies working on development issues.

Financial duties,

  • Securing financing for the implementation of the various projects or programs, the source of funds being the CoM or international donors.

Implementation and Monitoring tasks

  • Conducting feasibility studies for construction and developmental projects figuring in the general plan, or preparing programs required for the development of plans

  • Executing the projects figuring in the general plan, consecutive plans and programs, in addition to any other construction/development project requested by the CoM. The CDR selects the appropriate public institution, municipality, or company for the execution of these projects, and the appropriate means (bidding, subcontracting, partnership,…).

  • The CDR is the exclusive party responsible for expropriation procedures, and issuing administrative authorizations and licenses, except in the case where the CoM issues them.
  • Monitoring of all projects figuring in the plans and programs, and those referred by the CoM, and submitting relevant reports to the CoM

  • Monitoring the proper allocation of economic and financial subsidies to their proper targets.

The CDR has developed a General Master plan, including a plan for CZM, organizing land use in Lebanon. This plan encompasses the construction of wastewater treatment plants in coastal cities, the rehabilitation of solid waste dumps, the construction of a coastal highway, among other components. This Master plan has not been approved by the CoM to date a fact that prevents its implementation.
      1. Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water and Wastewater Establishment (BMLWWE)

BMLWWE was created by Law 221 (29/5/2000) which has restructured the water sector in Lebanon. Article 3 of Law 221, delineates the creation of five water establishments among which the Beirut-Mount Lebanon Water Establishment by merging the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Authorities.

Duties and competencies of the BMLWWE are described in Article 4 of Law 221. These are:

  • To carry out studies, implementation, operation, maintenance and renewing of projects for drinking and irrigation water distribution, (except for irrigation water in the South and South Beqaa that remains under the responsibility of the Litani River authority), within the frame of General Master-Plan according to a Ministry’s prior permit to use public water resources.

  • To propose tariffs for drinking and irrigation water services taking into consideration general

Socio-economic conditions of the Country.

  • To control the quality of the drinking and irrigation distributed water.

These Water Establishments is operating under its own regulations. It has to hire the services of an audit company concerning their financial status and is managed by a board of Directors constituted of a President and six members.

According to Article 6, the establishment is submitted to the “posteriori” control of the Account Court.

Its activities are assessed by a Performance Evaluation Committee composed of the (MoEW as president and 7 members: the General Director of the Ministry of Finances, the General Director of Exploitation in the MHER, the General Director of Hydraulic and Electric Equipment in the MHER, a hydraulic engineer, an economy graduate, a law graduate, and a second category functionary from the General Directorate of Exploitation as “rapporteur”.

Law 377 issued on December 14th 2001 is an Amendment of Laws 221 and 241. In the Article 1, the new version of paragraphs 3 and 11 of Article 2 concerning Law 221 incorporates the responsibilities of the waste water within the competencies of MoEW. Article 2 gives the same amendment for Water Establishments duties by incorporating the handling of the waste water in the subparagraphs of Article 4 of Law 221.

The Articles 3 replaces the name of the Ministry of Hydraulic and Electric Resources mentioned in

the Article 5 first paragraph of Law 221, by the corresponding terms; “Ministry of Energy and Water”.

The Article 4 brings, in addition to the previous modification relative to the MHER, another new appellation:

  • General Director of Hydraulic and Electric Equipment is replaced by General Director of Hydraulic and Electric resources.

  • Public Water Establishments are replaced by Public Water and Waste Water Establishments PWWEs.

BMLWE is also experienced in handling expropriations for public works, but as its in-house legal services are limited, the practice is to hire an outside expert to handle all expropriations files and liaise with the authorities.

Below are some related decrees that govern the BMLWWE:

Decree 8122 (3/7/2002): organizes the implementation of the Law 221.

Decree 14596 (14/6/2002): sets the internal organization of the BMLWWE.

Decree 14597 (14/6/2005): sets the investment organization of the BMLWWE.

Decree 14637 (16/6/2005): sets the financial organization of the BMLWWE.

Decree 14877 (1/6/2005): sets the employment organization of the BMLWEE.

      1. Litani River Authority

The Litani River Authority was established in 1954 for the purpose of executing the Litani River project developed by the Government within its general framework for water planning in order to provide for irrigation, drainage, drinking water and electricity.

The Litani River Authority has been created by the Law issued on August 14th 1954. Its duties and competencies are, as per the previous law, as follows:

  • The execution of the Litani project for irrigation and drainage, for potable water and electricity production within the integrated Master Plan for Water in Lebanon and pursuant to the studies undertaken by the Lebanese Government assisted by the American Technical Commission.

  • The installation of a network for the electricity plants in Lebanon.

  • The erection of transformation stations, transmission and distribution lines in the whole Lebanese regions.

This Authority has the status of moral person and it operates within an administrative and financial autonomy.

Two days after the implementation of August 14th Law, the first Board of Directors was designated by the Decree 5997 issued on August 16th 1954. On year later, three new Laws were issued on December 30th 1955 concerning three main issues to consolidate the start up of LRA. The first one, was ratified the agreement signed on August 25th 1955 to guarantee the loan of the International Bank for Development and Reconstruction to the LRA. The second one, has given to LRA, the right to exploit all the parts of the Litani project as well from technical point of view as from financial aspects,

It constitutes an Amendment to the LRA creation Law. The third one has decided the advance of the Public Treasury to the LRA.

The Litani River Authority is governed by the same laws governing the other Autonomous Water Authorities, like Law 4517. This Authority is managed by a Board of Directors for three years. The chart organization of the LRA shows the main executives responsibilities constituted by a general Manager, four managers handling the administrative, technical, irrigation and hydroelectricity aspects. They are assisted by 16 departments and 42 bureaus.

      1. Municipalities

A municipality is the level of local government with legal status, financial and administrative independence, which exercises powers and responsibilities over the territory it is granted by law.

The municipal machinery is made up of a decision-making power (invested in the elected municipal council) and an executive power (held by the President of the municipality or Mayor himself). The law grants municipal councils decision making powers and responsibilities relating to all activities of public interest within the municipal area based on a non-exhaustive list which sets out the relevant areas of public interest. According to Decree 118/1977, they are responsible for:

  • Determining municipal taxes or fees;

  • Developing TORs for services, works and supplies, or for selling municipal properties;

  • Accepting or rejecting funds and donations;

  • General programs of works, cleanliness, health affairs, water and lighting projects, etc.;

  • Planning, rectifying and enlarging roads, creating parks and public places;

  • Formulating designs for the town and the master plan in cooperation with the Directorate General of Urban Planning (DGUP);

  • Creating parks, courts, museums, hospitals, libraries, sewerage networks, and waste disposal options, etc.;

  • Organizing transportation and specifying prices; and

  • Approving permit applications for the exploitation of classified shops, restaurants, resorts, cafes, hotels, and all kinds of tourist and leisure facilities.

The Table 2 -9 below refers to the list of municipalities influenced either directly or indirectly by the project

Table 2 9 List of Municipalities

Municipality Name

Areas Covered by the Municipality


from Abu Abes river till Deir Mkhales


Mazraat El Barghoutiye







Ain EL Asad



Haret Baasir


Marj Barja





Dahr Aaqline

Mazraat Er Razaniye

Dahr El Mghara

Dahr El Mghara

El Mechref


El Damour



El Naame


Haret El Naame

Dawhet el Hoss
















Wadi Chahrour

Wadi Chahrour












Borj El Barajne

Borj EL Barajne

Haret Hreik

Haret Hreik

Table 2 10 Summary of institution’s main responsibilities

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