ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PREPARED BY, RAMITHA.G ASSISTANT PROFESSOR DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING ACE, BANGALORE
UNIT 1 Environmental assessment (EIA) is the term used for the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or project prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term 'environmental impact assessment' (EIA) is usually used when applied to concrete projects and the term 'strategic environmental assessment' applies to policies, plans and programmes. Environmental assessments may be governed by rules of administrative procedure regarding public participation and documentation of decision making, and may be subject to judicial review. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made. EIAs are unique in that they do not require adherence to a predetermined environmental outcome, but rather they require decision makers to account for environmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions in light of detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts. Engineering and consulting companies work hand in hand as contractors for mining, energy, oil&gas companies executing EIAs. These contractors are the ones not only in charge of preparing an EIA study but most importantly getting these studies approved by each country government offices prior to the execution of a project. Each country will also have its own local contractors offering the same kind of service hence breaking out monopolies by increasing the supply of EIAs execution consultants.
COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT The objective of a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is to prevent or at least to considerably reduce activities that may have important harmful effects or consequences on the environment and protected areas, thus realising the principles of sustainable development, integrity and prevention. The procedure for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is defined in the Environmental Protection Act and is carried out for plans provided that: They define or envisage an activity affecting the environment for which an environmental impact assessment needs to be carried out;
Assessment of the acceptability of impacts on the protected areas according to the regulations governing nature conservation is required; The responsible ministry estimates that their implementation could have an important effect on the environment. In the procedure for comprehensive environmental impact assessment, the effects of the plan are evaluated on the basis of the environmental report. The procedure is conducted by the ministry responsible for the environment. It also includes cooperation between all national authorities within their ministries and organisations, as well as public information and participation. The participation of the public is governed by the Environmental Protection Act, which lays down a 30-day public presentation of the environmental report. National authorities and local communities must, prior to the preparation of the plan and in the specified manner, inform the ministry responsible for the environment thereof. Non-compliance with legal obligations may result in invalidity of plans. PLANS Plans shall mean all plans, programmes, spatial or other acts and their amendments that are adopted pursuant to these acts by competent national bodies or municipalities in the area of spatial planning, water management, forest management, hunting, agriculture, energy, industry, transport, waste and waste-water management, drinking-water supply, telecommunications and tourism if the plans define or envisage an activity affecting the environment for which an environmental impact assessment must be carried out or if they include part of a protected area or if the execution of the plan could have an effect in itself or in connection with other plans. Determination of whether plans could have a significant impact on the environment is governed, in particular, by the provisions of the Decree on categories of projects for which an environmental impact assessment is mandatory. Protected areas for which the effects of the plans are to be assessed are protected areas according to regulations related to nature conservation, including protection in national, regional and landscape parks, strict nature reserves, nature reserves and natural monuments along with all acts designating natural sites of special interest still in force. In accordance with the third paragraph of Article 40 of the Environmental Protection Act, comprehensive environmental protection assessment is carried out for plans that do not include activities affecting the environment for which environmental