Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – Process and Benefits

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an indispensable part of any proposed project be it governmental or non-governmental. Environmental Impact Assessment is the method of assessing the possible environmental consequences of a proposed project or development.In this blog I will show you what is EIA, its procedure, benefits and shortcomings.

Read on to know more details.

What is Environmental Impact Assessment?

Environmental Impact Assessment is the method of assessing the possible environmental consequences of a proposed project or development. It takes into account both the positive and negative socioeconomic, cultural, and human-health consequences of the process. It is a mechanism used by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to determine the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a project before making a decision. The Environment Protection Act of 1986, which includes various provisions on EIA methodology and mechanism, provides legal backing for environmental impact assessments in India.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Goals of Environmental Impact Assessment

Following are the goals of an EIA process:

  • Forecast environmental impacts early in the project planning and design process 
  • Identify ways to mitigate negative effects 
  • Tailor projects to suit the local community 
  • Present the predictions and options to decision-makers. 

Also readSustainable Cities -Features Full Guide

History of Environmental Impact Assessment in India

Environmental Impact Assessment has been practised in India for over 20 years. It began in 1976-77. In September 2006, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) announced new EIA legislation. The following projects require environmental clearance under the notification:

  • Mining
  • Thermal power plants, 
  • River valleys, 
  • Infrastructure (roads, highways, ports, harbours, and airports) 
  • Factories, including very small electroplating or foundry units

Also read : What is e-waste?

EIA Process

The steps outlined below are part of the EIA method. The EIA mechanism, is cyclical, with interactions between the various phases.

Screening: 

The project plan is scrutinised for its size, location, and form of construction, as well as whether it requires legislative approval.

Scoping: 

The project’s possible effects, impact zones, mitigation options, and monitoring requirements.

Collection of baseline data: 

Baseline data refers to the state of the environment in the study region.

Impact Prediction: 

Positive and negative, reversible and irreversible, transient and permanent effects must all be forecast. This requires the evaluation agency to provide a thorough understanding of the project.

Mitigation measures and the EIA report: 

The EIA report should provide actions and steps for avoiding, mitigating, or transferring the impacts, as well as the extent of compensation for likely environmental harm or loss.

Public Hearing: 

After the EIA report is completed, the public and environmental organisations residing near the project site will be advised and consulted.

Decision Making: 

The Impact Assessment Authority, in consultation with experts, consults the project manager and a consultant to make a final decision, holding EIA and EMP in mind (Environment Management Plan).

Monitoring and implementation of EMP: 

The various phases of implementation of the project are monitored.

Alternatives Evaluation and Environmental Impact Assessment Report:

Alternatives should be defined for each project, and environmental attributes should be compared. Both the project site and the process technology should be seen as alternatives.

Following the evaluation of alternatives, a mitigation plan for the chosen choice should be created, which should be supported by an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to direct the supporter toward environmental improvements.

Risk Assessment: 

Inventory analysis and hazard likelihood and index are also used in EIA procedures.

Ever thought why all the projects must undergo the lengthy procedures of EIA? I have the answer for you. 

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Benefits of Environmental Impact Assessment

Ever thought why all the projects must undergo the lengthy procedures of EIA? I have the answer for you. 

  • Connects the environment and development for environmentally friendly and sustainable growth.
  • A cost-effective way to mitigate or reduce the negative effects of infrastructure projects.
  • Allows decision-makers to assess the impact of construction activities on the ecosystem well before the project is implemented.
  • Encourages the adaptation of mitigation techniques in the growth plan EIA ensures that the development strategy is environmentally sustainable and operates within the ecosystem’s capacity for assimilation and regeneration.

One thought on “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – Process and Benefits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.