Economia (Ministry of Economy)
(This is not an official translation of the law)
Law No. 30/2010, of 2 September, governs the mechanisms for defining the limits of human exposure to electric and electromagnetic fields resulting from high and extra high-voltage lines, installations and other equipment, in order to safeguard public health, conferring on the Government the power to regulate this matter by Decree-Law, in line with guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and EU best practices.
In this scope, Council Recommendation 1999/519/EChttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=987362, of 12 July 1999, on the limitation of exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz), taken as the basis for Administrative Rule No. 1421/2004https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=978247, of 23 November, which establishes a set of basic restrictions and level references as regards population exposure to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz), applicable to radiocommunications systems, remains topical.
In fact, in 2008, the Health Directorate-General carried out a review of the state of the art in these matters, concluding that there were no new epidemiological studies or scientific data that justified introducing amendments to recommendations adopted so far.
Later, in 2015, the Commission’s Scientific Committee on emerging and newly identified health risks, published a report on the potential effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields, in the whole frequency range. The conclusions of this panel of experts support that the protection conceptual framework set out in Council Recommendation 1999/519/EChttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=987362, of 12 July 1999, based on guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, remains valid, ensuring an effective protection of the population.
In this context, basic restrictions and reference levels adopted in terms of public health are deemed to be valid and topical, their application to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields being required. This Decree-Law thus lays down several criteria for minimizing and monitoring exposure to the referred fields which the planning and construction of new electric infrastructures corresponding to high- and extra high-voltage levels are required to meet.
The social impact linked to the subject of electromagnetic fields must also be taken into consideration, as well as the anxiety felt by communities where the installation of a new high- and extra high-voltage line or installation is expected to be implemented. As such, this Decree-Law introduces obligations concerning the minimizing and monitoring of electromagnetic fields. This statutory instrument also strengthens the position of owners of sensitive infrastructures situated below high- and extra high-voltage lines and installations.
The hearing of Associação Nacional de Municípios Portugueses (the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities) was promoted.
Under article 2 of Law No. 30/2010, of 2 September, and paragraph 1 a) of article 198 of the Constitution, the Government hereby decrees as follows:
This Decree-Law lays down criteria for minimizing and monitoring population exposure to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields, that should guide the planning and construction stages of new high-voltage (HV) and extra high-voltage (EHV) lines, as well as the respective operational stage.
1 - This Decree-Law applies to all new lines, installations or equipment for transmission and distribution of HV and EHV power, the licensing procedure of which starts following its entry into force.
2 - This Decree-Law applies also to the monitoring of existing lines, in accordance with article 6.
For the purpose of this Decree-Law, the following definitions shall apply:
a) «EIA Authority» means the environmental impact assessment authority, under article 8 of the legal system for environmental impact assessment of public and private projects which may have a significant effect on the environment, approved by Decree-Law No. 151-B/2013, of 31 October, as it stands;
b) «Environmental impact assessment» «EIA» means the legal system for environmental impact assessment of public and private projects which may have a significant effect on the environment, approved by Decree-Law No. 151-B/2013, of 31 October, as it stands;
c) «Sensitive infrastructures» mean the following infrastructures, according to paragraph 2 of article 2 of Law No. 30/2010, of 2 September:
i) Healthcare units or similar units;
ii) Any educational establishments or similar establishments, such as nurseries and kindergartens;
iii) Retirement homes, hospices and similar institutions;
iv) Parks and children’s play areas;
v) Sporting spaces, facilities and equipment;
vi) Residential buildings and houses intended for permanent residence;
d) «Lines for transmission and distribution of HV and EHV power» mean the set of conductors, insulators, accessories and media intended for the transmission and distribution of electric power, the operating voltage of which is equal to or higher than 60 hV.
Exposure to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields
All installations covered by this Decree-Law shall ensure, compliance, at all accessible points, with basic restrictions or reference levels for population exposure to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields, provisions set out in Administrative Rule No. 1421/2004https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=978247, of 23 November, applying for the purpose.
1 - In the scope of the requirement provided for in the law to minimize the exposure to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields, operators of power transmission and distribution networks shall apply a procedure intended to minimize exposure of new HV and EHV transmission and distribution lines, according to the following criteria, which may be applied individually as well as jointly:
a) Network operators must use all technical and technological solutions to minimize magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields, namely at the level of media structures, design of electrical circuits and arrangement of conductors and respective phases;
b) The technical option to be taken into consideration must be tailored during the project stage and justified by the network operator during the preliminary licensing stage, bearing in mind the local conditions of the proposed layout, and shall be analysed in the scope of the EIA, where it is legally required. Several methods for minimizing exposure to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields may be combined, without prejudice to the weighing of exposure when the layout is chosen in the scope of the EIA.
2 - When choosing the layout in the scope of the EIA, network operators shall present, where legally required, in a specific chapter of the EIA procedure, the technical measures taken to decrease the strength of the electric field and of the magnetic flux field, preferably presenting several alternatives, together with the respective cost-benefit analyses.
3 - The Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) shall draw up, publicize and keep continuously updated a handbook of good practices on measures to be taken to minimize impacts resulting from the construction of HV and EHV infrastructures in situations provided for in the preceding paragraphs.
1 - DGEG shall draw up a technical and mandatory guide, including standards and methodologies to be adopted by the different HV and EHV network operators, intended for the regular submission of monitoring plans by the respective networks, to collect measurement data of exposure to electromagnetic fields, taking into account the reference levels set out in Council Recommendation 1999/519/EChttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=987362, of 12 July 1999.
2 - Every five years, starting in 2018, each network operator shall present to DGEG five-year monitoring plans concerning magnetic fields that occurred in locations to be defined in HV and EHV installations that have been concessioned to them.
3 - Costs of self-monitoring activities undertaken by HV and EHV network operators, in the scope of plans referred to in the preceding paragraph, shall be borne by them, and shall not be passed on to prices charged to final consumers.
4 - The National Laboratory for Energy and Geology, in articulation with the Health Directorate-General, the Energy Services Regulatory Authority and DGEG, shall develop and ensure the management of a computer platform, where data on the monitoring of electromagnetic fields in HV and EHV electrical installations are made available and public information on the subject is provided.
5 - The platform referred to in the preceding paragraph shall allow the following data to be consulted through the Internet:
a) Information on limitations of human exposure to electromagnetic fields of extremely low frequency, including those resulting from transmission and distribution of HV and EHV power, namely:
i) Portuguese legislation in force;
ii) Recommendations adopted by European Union institutions or international organizations of which Portugal is a member;
b) Information on bodies in charge, in Portugal, of the licensing, management, maintenance and checking of transmission and distribution networks of HV and EHV power;
c) Technical and scientific information on electromagnetic fields of extremely low frequency originating from HV and EHV infrastructures, including epidemiological studies, using, whenever possible, accurate language that is nevertheless accessible to the general public;
d) Estimates of annual average exposure to electromagnetic fields in various points of HV and EHV networks for power transmission and distribution, this information being based on annual average loads, supplied on a regular basis by the various network operators;
e) Typical diagrams of magnetic and electric fields calculated for the various types of media structures used by operators in HV and EHV transmission and distribution lines, and for the various applicable voltage levels, using the typical annual average load conditions for the respective voltage level and the typology of media structure;
f) Measurement data of electromagnetic fields in several locations of HV and EHV infrastructures, made available by operators, in the scope of five-year monitoring plans submitted to DGEG.
6 - For the purpose of the preceding paragraph and by 31 March every year, starting in 2019, the operator of the National Transmission Network and the operator of the National Distribution Network shall provide the following elements to the body in charge of the management of the online platform:
a) Detailed annual reports on the results of monitoring activities carried out in the preceding year, according to the approved monitoring plans, any alterations occurred being justified;
b) Detailed annual reports and respective data on the use of all their HV and EHV lines, including, for each line, in addition to maximum current, magnetic field and electric field values provided for in the project, also the achieved annual average current value and the achieved maximum current value.
Distance from sensitive infrastructures
1 - New HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines shall not cross over sensitive infrastructures defined in point c) of article 3 to this Decree-Law, the distances established in paragraph 3 of article 28 of Regulatory Decree No. 1/92, of 18 February being applied, calculated from the axis of the line, without prejudice to the following article.
2 - The distance established in the preceding paragraph shall apply to the licensing, authorization or preliminary communication of the construction, use or operation of new sensitive infrastructures, as regards the layout of HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines that exist or have been approved, or to provisions defined in municipal territorial planning documents.
3 - Article 29 of Regulatory Decree No. 1/92, of 18 February, shall apply to building planning procedures for changing, reconstructing or expanding buildings where pre-existing sensitive infrastructures, that are located below HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines, operate, as well as to the expansion, changing or power boosting of HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines that cross over sensitive infrastructures.
Crossing over sensitive structures
1 - Where there is no economically viable alternative to the layout of HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines, provisions in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the preceding paragraph may be dispensed with, insofar as the following requirements are met:
a) Written agreement from the owner or owners of infrastructures concerned regarding the crossing over of lines and prior hearing of all other interested parties;
b) Adoption of technical solutions for minimizing impacts arising from the installation of the transmission or distribution line over sensitive structures, under article 5, without prejudice to the minimum distance established in article 29 of Regulatory Decree No. 1/92, of 18 February.
2 - The identification of the situation described in the preceding paragraph must take place in the stage preceding the examination of the EIA procedure, where legally required, and in this case, the network operator in required to include in the Environmental Impact Assessment:
a) The description of technical solutions alternative to the crossing over of lines that were set aside for not being economically viable;
b) The identification of technical solutions for minimizing impacts arising from the installation of the transmission or distribution line over sensitive structures.
In the scope of the assessment of the project of new HV and EHV power transmission and distribution lines, for licensing purposes, it shall be incumbent on DGEG to check compliance not only with the Electrical Installation Licensing Regulation, but also with this Decree-Law and with municipal territorial planning instruments, by undertaking consultations with municipalities the area of which is crossed over by new lines.
Without prejudice to competences allocated by law to other bodies, the enforcement of provisions in this Decree-Law shall be incumbent on the body with specialized enforcement powers for the energy sector.
Breaches and fines
1 - The commission of the following acts shall be deemed to be serious breaches, punishable by fine between (Euro) 1 500.00 and (Euro) 3 740.00, if committed by a natural person, and between (Euro) 3 500.00 and (Euro) 44 890.00, if committed by an enterprise:
a) Violation of article 4;
b) Violation of the requirement to minimize exposure to magnetic, electric and electromagnetic fields, provided for in paragraph 1 of article 5;
c) Failure to comply with restrictions to the location of power transmission lines, provided for in article 7.
2 - The commission of the following acts shall be deemed to be minor breaches, punishable by fine between (Euro) 500.00 and (Euro) 2 500.00, if committed by a natural person, and between (Euro) 2 500.00 and (Euro) 25 000.00, if committed by an enterprise:
a) Failure by HV and EHV network operators to comply with the technical and mandatory guide, provided for in paragraph 1 of article 5;
b) Failure by network operators to present monitoring plans provided for in paragraph 2 of article 5 within the prescribed time limit;
c) Violation of the duty to provide information, in violation of paragraph 6 of article 6.
3 - The breach liability of operators provided for in the preceding paragraphs shall be without prejudice to any other liability, of a civil, criminal or some other nature.
4 - Breaches committed in their negligent form shall be punishable, the minimum and maximum limits being halved.
Examining breach files
If not otherwise specified in special provisions, breach files provided for in the preceding article shall be examined by the body with specialized enforcement powers for the energy sector.
Application of fines
The power to apply fines in the scope of breach files examined under the preceding article is conferred upon the body with specialized enforcement powers for the energy sector.
Distribution of proceeds from fines
Proceeds from fines applied for violation of this Decree-Law shall revert at:
a) 60 % to the State;
b) 40 % to the body that examined the breach file.
Subsidiary law and precedence
The general regime of mere social breaches, set out in Decree-Law No. 433/82, of 27 October, as it stands, shall apply on a supplementary basis to breaches provided for in this Decree-Law.
1 - The enforcement hereof, examination of files and application of fines shall be incumbent on DGEG until the body with specialized enforcement powers for the energy sector is established.
2 - Order No. 19610/2003, published in the Official Gazette, Series II, No. 239, of 15 October, shall apply until the technical guide provided for in article 6 is approved.
Entry into force
This Decree-Law shall enter into force on the first day of the month following that of its publication.
Checked and approved in the Council of Ministers of 4 January 2018 - António Luís Santos da Costa - Mário José Gomes de Freitas Centeno - Eduardo Arménio do Nascimento Cabrita - Adalberto Campos Fernandes - Manuel de Herédia Caldeira Cabral - João Pedro Soeiro de Matos Fernandes.
Promulgated on 2 February 2018.
Let it be published.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
Counter-signed on 12 February 2018.
The Prime Minister, António Luís Santos da Costa.