Environmental Impact Assessment

Introduction

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a method of determining the possible environmental effects of a proposed project or development, taking into account both beneficial and adverse socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts.

United Nation Environmental Program (ENEP) defines the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a tool used before decision-making to identify the environmental, social and economic impacts of a project. It aims at predicting environmental impacts in project planning and design at an early stage, finding ways and means to reduce adverse impacts, molding projects to suit the local environment and present the predictions and options for decision-making. Use EIA can achieve both environmental and economic benefits, such as reduced cost and time of project implementation and design, avoided cost of treatment/clean-up and impacts of laws and regulations.

The requirement of EIA:

  1. To check the project is as per the environmental law (NGT, Air/water/soil pollution law, etc)
  2. To check the impact of the project on the environment
  3. To check the Environmental permits
  4. To show the project is not impacting the environment

Environmental Impact Assessment Process

EI Assessment involves the step mentioned below:

  1. Screening: The project plan is screened for investment size, location and type of development and where statutory clearance is required for the project.
  2. Scoping: Potential impacts of the project, impact zone, mitigation potential, and monitoring need.
  3. Baseline data collection: The basic data is the study of the environmental area’s status.
  4. Impact prediction: The evaluation agency needs to predict positive and negative, reversible and irreversible and temporary and permanent impacts which presuppose a good understanding of the project.
  5. Mitigation measures and EIA report: The EIA report will provide initiatives and steps to avoid, mitigate or transfer impacts or compensation rates for the possible environmental damage or loss
  6. Public hearing: The public and community organizations residing near the project site will be informed and consulted upon completion of the EIA study.
  7. Decision-making: Impact Assessment Authority and experts work with the project-in-charge to take the final decision, taking into account EIA and EMP (Environmental Management Plan).
  8. Monitoring and implementation of the environmental management plan: control of the different stages of project execution.
  9. Alternative Assessment, Delineation of Mitigation Measures and Environmental Impact Evaluation Report: Potential solutions should be identified for each project, and environmental attributes compared. Alternatives would cover both the site of the project and its process

Once alternatives have been reviewed, a mitigation plan for the selected option should be drawn up and complemented by an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to guide the proponent towards environmental improvements.

       j.  Risk assessment: The inventory analysis and the probability and index of hazards are also part of EIA procedures.

Benefits of Assessment

  • EIA links environment and development for sustainable and environmentally responsible growth.
  • EIA provides a cost-effective mechanism for eliminating or mitigating negative impacts from construction programs.
  • EIA helps decision-makers to evaluate the environmental effects of construction initiatives long before the development project is implemented.
  • EIA recommends mitigation techniques to be tailored to the growth program.
  • EIA ensures the development plan is environmentally sound and within the boundaries of the ecosystem's capacity for assimilation and regeneration.

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