Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Assessment (E.A.) is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, policy, program or actual project before deciding to proceed with the proposed action. In this context, the term “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA) is commonly used by individuals or organizations for actual projects, and organs often propose the term “Strategic Environmental Assessment” (SEA) in terms of policies, plans and programs.

It is a tool of environmental management that forms a part of project approval and decision making. Environmental assessments may be governed by administrative procedure rules relating to documentation of public participation and 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 to move forward with a project.

The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines “environmental impact assessment as the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating, and mitigating biophysical, social, and other relevant impact development proposals before making major decisions and commitments.”

EIAs are unique in that they do not require adherence to their predetermined environmental consequences but rather require decision-makers to be responsible for environmental values in their decisions and justify those decisions in the light of environmental studies and public comments on potential environmental impacts.

Definitions of EIA:

Environmental impact assessment is defined as an activity designed to identify impacts on the biophysical environment, identify human and well-being for interpreting and communicating laws and proposals, projects, policies, operational processes, and information.

EIA is a systematic process for identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed activity.

The objective of EIA:

The objective of EIA is (i) to Identify, forecast and evaluate the economic, environmental and social impact of development activities (ii) provide information on environmental consequences for decision making and (iii) To promote environmentally sustainable development through identification of suitable alternatives and treatment systems.

EIA has been widely adopted as a tool to ensure sustainable development with minimal environmental degradation.

History

An environmental impact assessment began in the 1960s as part of an increase in ecological awareness to prepare an EIA to estimate a proposed development or construction project’s impacts. EIAs provide technical assessments that are intended to contribute to more objective decision-making.

In the United States, environmental impact assessments gained official status in 1969 with the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). EIAs are increasingly being used worldwide.

The number of environmental assessments filed each year has largely exceeded the number of “more stringent environmental impact statements (EIS). The environmental assessment is a “mini-EIS” designed to provide the agency with sufficient information to decide whether a full extended environmental impact statement (EIS) needs to be prepared. ”

Methods

Available with general and industry-specific assessment methods:

  • Industrial Products – Product Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is used to identify and measure industrial products’ impact on the environment. These EIAs consider activities related to the extraction of raw materials, accessories, equipment; Manufacturing, use, disposal and accessories.
  •  Genetically Modified Plants – Specific methods available for performing EIAs on genetically modified animals include GMP-RAM and INOVA.
  •  Obscure Argument – Measurement data is needed to estimate the values of the EIA method impact indicators. However, many of the environmental effects cannot be quantified, e.g. Instead of landscape quality, the standard of living and social acceptance, information from similar EIAs, expert judgments and community sensitivities are used. An approximate reasoning method known as obscure reasoning can be used. An unobtrusive arithmetic method has also been proposed and implemented using a software tool (TDDIA).

Follow-up

At the end of the project, an audit evaluates the EIA’s accuracy by making actual comparisons with the effects of the forecast. The aim is to make future EIAs more legitimate and effective. The two primary considerations are:

  • Scientific – To test the accuracy of predictions and to explain errors
  • Management – To evaluate mitigation success in mitigating effects

Null can be monitored as a rigorous assessment of the assumptions or a simple method of comparing what actually happened against the EIA document predictions.
Following an EIA, precautionary and contamination policies can be applied to decide whether a project’s strict liability or insurance coverage needs to be canceled, corrected, or based on a predetermined loss.
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a sector-specific approach to environmental and social assessment and quality testing of management plans.

Around the world

Australia

The history of EIA in Australia may be linked to implementing the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the United States, which created the need to create environmental impact statements.

In Australia, one might say that EIA methods were introduced at the state level before the Commonwealth (federal), with most states having a different view of the Commonwealth. One of the leading states is New South Wales, whose state pollution control commission issued the EIA guidelines in 1974. At a Commonwealth (Federal) level, it passed the Environmental Protection (Impact of Proposal) Act 1974 (C.T.) in 1974.

The Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 ((C.T.) (EPBC Act) surpasses the Environmental Protection (Proposal Impact) Act 1974 (C.T.). It is the current central part of the EIA in Australia at a Commonwealth (i.e., Federal) level. An important point to note is that this federal law does not override the validity of the assessment and approval of state or territorial environment and development; Rather, the EPBC law runs parallel to the states/territories. EPBC law addresses the overlap between federal and state requirements through bilateral agreements or one-off recognition of state processes.

The Commonwealth Level

The EPBC Act provides a legal framework for protecting and managing nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities, and heritage sites. It defines it as having “national environmental significance”. The following are nine issues of national importance:

  •  National Heritage places;
  • World Heritage properties;
  • Wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention);
  • Listed endangered species and ecological communities;
  • Migratory species are protected under international treaties;
  •  Commonwealth marine areas;
  • the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park;
  • Nuclear actions (including uranium mining); and
  • Water resources with the development of coal seam gas and the development of large coal mines.

In addition, the EPBC Act aims to provide a national assessment and approval process for activities. These activities may be carried out by the Commonwealth or its agents anywhere in the world or on Commonwealth land; And activities that are listed as ‘significant impacts’ on issues related to the ‘significance of the national environment’. EPBC law applies when a person (proposer) wants an action (often referred to as a “proposal” or “a project”) is assessed for environmental impacts under the EPBC Act, he must submit the project under the Department of Environment and Energy (Commonwealth) ).

The referral has since been made public to the public and to the relevant states, territories, and Commonwealth ministers for comment on whether the project will significantly impact projects of national environmental significance. The Department of Environment and Energy evaluates the process and makes recommendations to ministers or representatives for feasibility. The final discretion regarding the minister’s decision is based not only on the issues of environmental significance but also on the consideration of the social and economic impact of the project.

The Minister for Environment and Energy of the Government of Australia may not intervene in a proposal unless it has a significant impact on any of the eight important national environmental issues, regardless of the adverse environmental impact on the environment. This is mainly due to the division of power between the state and the federal government and the Australian government’s environment minister’s inability to reverse a state’s decision.

There are strict civil and criminal fines for violating EPBC laws. Depending on the type of violation of civil penalties (maximum) and the body of a person to $ 550,000 for corporations of $ 5.5 million, or criminal penalties (maximum) seven years’ imprisonment and / or a fine of $ 46.200.

The State and Territory Level
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Cabinet Authority in law’s EIA provisions are found in Chapters 7 and 8 of the Planning and Development Act 2007 (Act). EIA in I.T. was earlier conducted with the help of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991 (Land Act) and the 4th Part of the Zonal Planning (Land Use Plan).

Note that there may be some EIA in the Commonwealth Land Act under the EPBC Act (C.T.). Further provisions of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 (C.T.) may also apply to national lands and “designated territories”.

New South Wales (NSW)

In New South Wales, the Environmental Planning and Evaluation Act 1979 (EP&A Act) established two EIA paths. The first is under Section 5.2 of the E.P. and A Act, which provides for the EIA of the ‘State Notable Infrastructure’ project (since June 2011 this section replaced the previous section 3, which previously covered the EIA of large projects).

The second is under Part 4 of the EP&A Act relating to development assessment of local, regional and state notable development (excluding state notable infrastructure).

Northern Territory (N.T.)

The EIA process in the Northern Territory is primarily governed by the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). Although the EIA’s primary equipment in the EAA Northern Territory, the Investigation Act 1985 (N.T.) contains further provisions of the proposal.

Queensland (QLD)

There are four major EIA processes in Queensland First, under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) for development projects other than excavation. Second, under Chapter 3 of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) (E.P. Act) for certain mineral and petroleum activities.

Third, ‘significant projects’ under the State Development and Public Works Agency Act 1971 (Qld) (State Development Act). Finally, for ‘regulated action’ under the Environmental Control and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (C.T.).

South Australia (S.A.)

The local governing body of EIA in South Australia is the Development Act 1993 (S.A.). Under the law, three levels of assessment are possible in the form of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a Public Environmental Report (PER) or a Development Report (D.R.).

Tasmania (TAS)

In Tasmania, the Unified Legislation to Law and Amendment Act is used to guide the development and approval process, a combination of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (TAS) (EMPC Act), the Land Use Planning and Approval Act 1993 (LUPA Act). , The State Policy and Projects Act 1993 (TAS) (SPPA), and the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal Act 1993 (TAS).

Victoria (VIC)

The EIA process in Victoria involves the Environmental Effects Act 1978 (VIC) and the Ministerial Guidelines for Evaluating Environmental Impacts (created under E.E. Act 10).

Western Australia (W.A.)

Section 4 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (W.A.) provides the legal framework for the EIA process in Western Australia, monitors EPA law planning and development proposals and assesses their potential impact on the environment.

Canada

The Oldman River Society v. Canada (Minister of Transport), (SCC 1992) described the environmental impact assessment in the light of the appropriate scope of federal jurisdiction in La Forest J, Canada’s Supreme Court on environmental issues. “Environmental impact assessment, in its simplest form, is a planning tool that is now generally considered an integral element of sound decision-making.

” Citing Supreme Court Justice La Forrest (Cotton & Almond 1981, p. 245), ”

The key ideas behind environmental assessment are simply stated:

(1) the initial identification and evaluation of all possible environmental consequences of the proposed initiative; (2) the decision to both Guarantees adequacy and complies with developer proposals with the highest possible level of environmental protection and preservation. “La Forrest cited (Jeffrey 1989, 1.2,1.4) and (Emond 1977, p. 5) who described the environmental assessment as an environmental tool with both “suppliers” of data collection and decision-making elements … approving proposed developments.

An intentional basis for giving or denying. “Justice La Forrest addressed his concerns about the impact of Bill C-45 on public navigation rights over lakes and rivers, which would contradict previous cases. (La Forest 1973, pp. 178-80).

The Environmental Assessment Act of Canada 2012 (CEAA 2012) “and its regulations establish the legislation of the federal practice of environmental assessment in most parts of Canada.” The CEAA 2012 came into force in July 2012 and replaced the former Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1995). E.A. defines the environmental impact of a project, where possible, as a planning tool for identification, understanding, evaluation, and mitigation.

China

The Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA Act) requires that an environmental impact assessment should be completed before construction of the project. However, suppose a developer completely ignores this requirement and submits a project without submitting an environmental impact statement.

In that case, the only penalty is that the Bureau of Environmental Protection (EPB) may require the developer to conduct a make-up environmental assessment. EPB can only penalize the developer if the developer does not complete this make-up assessment within the stipulated time. However, the maximum possible fine is equipped around 25,000 US dollars, most of which are a part of the project’s overall cost.

The lack of more stringent enforcement measures has resulted in a significant percentage of projects not completing the legally required environmental impact assessment prior to construction. China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) Act used the law in 2004 to shut down 30 projects, including the Three Georges Project Company, which has three hydropower plants.

Although a month later (note as a point of reference, the standard EIA for a large project in the United States takes one to two years.), Most of the 30 suspended projects have begun rebuilding, environmental assessments have been reported It was significant that it was ever suspended.

A joint investigation by SEPA and the Ministry of Lands and Resources in 2004 showed that 30-40% of the time in a mining project, only 6-7% in some areas did so, went through the necessary environmental impact assessment procedures. This partly explains why China has witnessed so many mineral accidents in recent years.

Professor Wang Kanfa, director of the Center for Assistance to Environmental Victims at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, observed that SEPA alone cannot guarantee full implementation of environmental laws and regulations. In fact, according to Wang, the implementation of China’s environmental laws and regulations that are implemented is only estimated at 10%.

Egypt

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) EIA is implemented in Egypt under the Ministry of Environment’s umbrella. The Egyptian Environmental Protection Agency (EEAA) is responsible for EIA services. In June 1997, Egypt’s first full-time Minister of State for Environment was appointed by Presidential Decree No. 275/1997.

Since then, the new ministry has focused on working closely with national and international development partners, setting environmental policies, setting priorities and implementing initiatives in the context of sustainable development. According to the Environmental Protection Act 4/1994, the Egyptian Environmental Agency (EEA) was reorganized in 1982 with a new mandate from the organization initially established. At the central level, the EEA represents the executive branch of the ministry.

EIA aims to ensure the protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources, including aspects of human health, against uncontrolled development.

The long-term goal is to ensure sustainable economic development that meets current needs without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. The EIA is an important tool in an integrated environmental management approach.

EIA must be performed for new entities or projects and for expansion or renovation of existing installations in accordance with environmental law.

The Netherlands

EIA Dutch law was enacted on 1 September 1987. The Dutch law summarizes what is required for an EIA for the categories of projects, Wet Milliuhier. The use of margins for activities ensures that EIA is mandatory for activities that may affect the environment.

For projects and plans that meet these criteria, an EIA report is required. EIA Report A.O. The proposed initiative clarifies the impact of that initiative on the environment and compares it to potential alternatives with less negative impact.

United Kingdom

E.U. guidelines on environmental impact assessment are applied in England through the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Rules 2017, which also applies to projects served for national defense purposes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s EIA is regulated by the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance 1997, which came into force in 1998. The original proposal to build the Lok Ma Chau Spoor Line overground across the Long Valley failed to go through the EIA, and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation had to change its plan and build the railway underground.

In April 2011, the Hong Kong Division of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge violated the EIA Ordinance and was declared illegal. The government’s appeal was granted in September 2011. However, it was estimated that the Hong Kong section of the bridge is the case with the Court of the EIA spending increased at H.K. $ 6.5 billion dollars a day.

India

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MOEFCC) of India has made great efforts to assess India’s environmental impact.

The de facto main laws are the Water Act (1974), the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972), the Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act (1981) and the Environment (Protection) Act (1986), the Biodiversity Act (2002). The body responsible for this is the Central Pollution Control Board.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study requires a significant amount of primary and secondary environmental data. Primary data is the collection of fields to define environmental conditions (e.g. air quality data, water quality data, etc.). Secondary data collected over the years are those that can be used to understand the situation of the existing environment in the field of study.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study is conducted over a short period of time and therefore there is a limitation of understanding the trends of the environment based on preliminary data for a few months. Ideally, for a complete understanding of the region’s existing environmental conditions, the primary data must be considered along with the secondary data. In many EIA studies, secondary data requirements can exceed 80% of total data requirements. EIC is a repository of one-stop secondary data sources for environmental impact assessment in India.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) experience in India indicates that the lack of timely availability of reliable and authentic environmental information has become a major obstacle to EIA’s full benefits.

Since the environment is a multi-disciplinary issue, a large number of agencies are involved in collecting environmental information. However, no single organization in India tracks the data available from these agencies and provides it in one place as a necessary form for environmental impact assessment practitioners.

Moreover, environmental data is not available in augmented forms that improve EIA standards. It is more rigorous and time-consuming to make environmental impact assessments and get timely environmental clearances from regulators.

With this background, the Environmental Information Center (EIC) has served as a professionally managed clearinghouse for environmental information that the MoEF can use, project supporters, consultants, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in India’s environmental impact assessment process.

EIC meets the requirements of creating and disseminating organized environmental data for various development initiatives across the country.

EIC stores data in the GIS format and makes it available to all environmental impact assessment studies and EIA partners.

In 2020, the Indian government proposed a new EIA 2020 draft, which was widely criticized for drastically reducing the EIA. Many environmental groups launched a campaign demanding the withdrawal of the draft, in the face of which the Indian government tried to ban/block the group’s websites.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, Section 34A, the Environmental Standards Act, 1974 requires developments that significantly impact the environment to conduct an assessment of such environmental impacts.

Nepal

In Nepal, EIA has been integrated with major development projects since 1980. The Sixth Plan (1980-85), for the first time in Nepal’s planning history, recognizes the need for EIA to develop the necessary equipment with the establishment of the Environmental Impact Study Project (EISP) under the Department of Soil Conservation in 1987 to integrate EIA into infrastructure development projects.

However, the Government of Nepal introduced environmental protection policies in the Seventh Plan (NPC, 1985–1990). In order to implement this policy and take the necessary steps, multiple guidelines were created, which included elements of environmental elements from the development planning and project design stages and to avoid or reduce adverse effects on ecosystems.

It also emphasized the need to manage EIA in industrial, tourism, water resources, transport, urbanization, agriculture, forestry and other development projects.

In Nepal, the Government of 1993’s Environmental Impact Assessment Guidelines include the Environmental Assessment System (EPA) of 1997 and the Environmental Protection Rules (EPR) of 1997 (EPA and EPR, effective June 24 and 26, 1997).

The process institutionalizes the EIA process in development proposals and legalization, making the integration of IEE and EIA mandatory for legally designated projects. Projects, EIA or IEE required, are included in Schedules 1 and 2 of EPR 1997 (GON / MLJPA 1997).

New Zealand

In New Zealand, EIA is commonly referred to as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EEA). The conservation of the first use of the EIA passed the Cabinet minutes in 1974 in what is called the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Method.

It had no legal force and was only concerned with the activities of government departments. When the Resource Management Act was passed in 1991, an EIA was required as part of the Resource Consent application.

Article 88 mentions that the law must be eiite “may have an impact on the environment on activity related to the scale and significance of such details must be included.” While there is no obligation to consult with any person when applying for resource approval (Article 33A and Schedule 4), local councils almost certainly require proof of consultation when they decide whether to inform the consent application under Article 93 publicly.

Russian Federation

As of 2004, the state authorities responsible for conducting state EIA in Russia are divided into two federal agencies: 1) the Federal Service for Natural Resources Monitoring – a part of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and 2) the Federal Environmental, Technical and Nuclear Control Service.

The two main components of Russia’s environmental law are the Federal Law’ Ecological Expertise on’, 1995 and the Regulations relating to environmental stimulus and impact assessment from other environmental activities in the Russian Federation ‘2000.

Federal Service for monitoring the use of natural resources

In 2006, the Parliamentary Committee on Ecology, in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, formed an executive team to prepare a number of amendments to existing laws to cover issues such as strict project documentation for the creation of potentially environmentally damaging objects.

Project building on protected areas. There has been some success in the region, as evidenced by the abandonment of plans to build a gas pipeline with the only remaining habitat of the critically endangered Amur leopard in the Russian Far East.

Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Control

The government’s decision to transfer control over a number of important mechanisms, including state EIA, for all types of energy projects has caused much controversy and criticism from environmental groups, who have blamed the government for controlling the nuclear power industry over state EIA.

The main problem concerning the Russian state EIA is the clear distinction of jurisdiction between the two federal agencies.

Sri Lanka

National Environmental Act, 1999 Environmental impact assessment is required for large scale projects in sensitive areas. The Central Environmental Authority enforces it.

Ukraine

Ukraine’s new law on assessing the impact on the surrounding area mentions the need for environmental protection, the wise use of national resources, and the reduction of harmful influences in the neighborhood in the decision-making process conducted on planned activities. Conclusion of impact assessment is the result of designing management.

The law’s key moment on the assessment of neighborhood effects is the alternative to the conclusion of state environmental efficiency in the assessment of the impact on the environment. It is forbidden to run a business entity or start its planned activities without ending the influence around.

United States

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), enacted in 1970, established a policy to assess the environmental impact of federal agency work vested activities or center permits / licensing activities in the USA. Referred to as “environmental review” or simply “NEPA process”. The law also created the Environmental Quality Council, which introduced rules to comply with the law’s requirements.

An Environmental Assessment (E.A.) is compiled under U.S. Environmental Law to determine the requirements for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Federal or Federalized Activities will issue a notification of willingness to prepare an EIS as soon as the significance is revealed to be related to the expected environmental impact or expected.

The NEPA process must drive specific activities of federal agencies. Contrary to a widespread misconception, NEPA does not allow the federal government or its licensees / the environment to be harmed or imposes any penalties if the environmental impact assessment is intentionally or otherwise proven wrong.

Neglected statements about the potential effects of the NEPA need to be published in advance. The purpose of the NEPA process is to ensure that decision-makers should be fully informed of the environmental aspects and consequences before making a final decision.

Environmental assessment

An environmental assessment (E.A.) is an environmental analysis prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act that determines which federal measures will have a significant impact on the environment and thus requires a more effective environmental impact statement (EIS). As a result of the noticeable effect (FONSI) or an EIS.

The Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees NEPA administration, issued regulations for the implementation of NEPA in 1979. Ackelston said the Neepa regulations barely mentioned E.A. preparation.

This is because E.A. was originally used as a relatively rare instance as a general document where no organization was sure whether the potential significance would be sufficient for any EIS preparation.

Today, however, since EISs are so long and complex to prepare, federal agencies are making great efforts to avoid preparing EISs using E.A.s, even in cases where the use of EASs may be inappropriate. The ratio of E.A. to EIS being issued is about 100 to 1.
In July 2020, President Donald Trump removed the NEPA to significantly weaken it. CEQ has issued a final rule limiting the term of E.A.s to 1 year and EISs to 2 years.

This rule exempts a number of projects from full review and prevents them from considering the environmental impacts caused by climate change. The rules came into force in September 2020 and are the first update of the CEQ regulations since their introduction in 1978.

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