An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the likely influence a project may have on the environment. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision-makers consider environmental impacts before deciding whether to proceed with new projects. From the EIA, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is produced, which contains a detailed analysis of the effects of a specific development proposal on the environment.
Verde’s in-house expertise in the main EIA disciplines and strategic partnerships enables us to efficiently project manage the EIA process, including:
> Initial screening
> Alternatives evaluations
> EIA / EIS preparation
> Presentation at public enquiry
Why an Environmental Impact Assessment is Required
European Legislation requires member states of the EU to carry out assessments of the environmental impact of certain public and private projects before they are allowed to go ahead. The Directive is implemented in Ireland by the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended) and is governed by the European Communities (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations. The need to undergo Environmental Impact Assessment is closely linked with the Planning Process in the Irish jurisdiction.
An EIA can be required due to the specific nature of a proposed development or because the scale of the proposal exceeds a defined threshold for that form of development. Failure to undergo the EIA process and failure to include an EIS with a planning application for a form of development listed in the relevant regulations will lead to the planning application being invalidated by the Local Authority.
Specifically the EIA process includes a detailed analysis of the receiving environment in terms of Human Beings/Socio- Economic, Hydrology & Hydrogeology, Geology, Flora and Fauna, Air, Climate and Noise, Landscape and Visual Impact, Cultural Heritage and Material Assets (such as traffic, retail Impact etc.).