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INF2011 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) _wikipedia

INF2011 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) _wikipedia

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Published by susCities
Wikipedia page about the “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): method overview & applications in different countries in the world (15pp) - Source: wikipedia (WO, 2011) >>> www.en.wikipedia.org
Wikipedia page about the “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): method overview & applications in different countries in the world (15pp) - Source: wikipedia (WO, 2011) >>> www.en.wikipedia.org

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Published by: susCities on Nov 15, 2011
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14/11/2011 22:09Environmental impact assessment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 1 of 15http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_assessment
Environmental law
Pollution control and remediation
AirHazardous substancesWasteWater
Resource conservation and management
FisheriesForestsHistoric sitesMineralsOil and gasParksSpeciesWater
Planning, land use, and infrastructure
Impact reviewMunicipal planningLand useTransportation infrastructureEnergy infrastructureEnvironmental justice
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Environmental impact assessment
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
environmental impact assessment
is an assessment of the possiblepositive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on theenvironment, together consisting of the natural, social and economicaspects.The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers considerthe ensuing environmental impacts when deciding whether to proceedwith 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 majordecisions being taken and commitments made."
EIAs are unique inthat they do not require adherence to a predetermined environmentaloutcome, but rather they require decision
makers to account forenvironmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions inlight of detailed environmental studies and public comments on thepotential environmental impacts of the proposal.
EIAs began to be used in the 1960s as part of a rational decision makingprocess. It involved a technical evaluation that would lead to objectivedecision making. EIA was made legislation in the US in the NationalEnvironmental Policy Act (NEPA) 1969. It has since evolved as it hasbeen used increasingly in many countries around the world. As per Jay
et al.
(2006) , EIA as it is practiced today, is being used as a decision aidingtool rather than decision making tool. There is growing dissent on theuse of EIA as its influence on development decisions is limited and thereis a view it is falling short of its full potential.There is a need for strongerfoundation of EIA practice through training for practitioners, guidanceon EIA practice and continuing research.
EIAs have often been criticized for having too narrow spatial andtemporal scope. At present no procedure has been specified fordetermining a system boundary for the assessment. The system boundaryrefers to ‘the spatial and temporal boundary of the proposal’s effects’.This boundary is determined by the applicant and the lead assessor, butin practice, almost all EIAs address the direct, on-site effects alone.
However, as well as direct effects, developments cause a multitude of indirect effects through consumption of goods and services, productionof building materials and machinery, additional land use for activities of various manufacturing and industrial services, mining of resources etc.The indirect effects of developments are often an order of magnitudehigher than the direct effects assessed by EIA. Large proposals such as airports or ship yards cause wide ranging nationalas well as international environmental effects, which should be taken into consideration during the decision-makingprocess.
Broadening the scope of EIA can also benefit threatened species conservation. Instead of concentrating on the direct effectsof a proposed project on its local environment some EIAs used a landscape approach which focused on much broaderrelationships between the entire population of a species in question. As a result, an alternative that would cause leastamount of negative effects to the population of that species as a whole, rather than the local subpopulation, can beidentified and recommended by EIA.
14/11/2011 22:09Environmental impact assessment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 2 of 15http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_assessment
There are various methods available to carry out EIAs, some are industry specific and some general methods:Industrial products - Product environmental life cycle analysis (LCA) is used for identifying and measuring theimpact on the environment of industrial products. These EIAs consider technological activities used for variousstages of the product: extraction of raw material for the product and for ancillary materials and equipment,through the production and use of the product, right up to the disposal of the product, the ancillary equipment andmaterial.
Genetically modified plants - There are specific methods available to perform EIAs of genetically modifiedplants. Some of the methods are GMP-RAM, INOVA etc.
Fuzzy Arithmetic - EIA methods need specific parameters and variables to be measured to estimate values of impact indicators. However many of the environment impact properties cannot be measured on a scale e.g.landscape quality, lifestyle quality, social acceptance etc. and moreover these indicators are very subjective. Thusto assess the impacts we may need to take the help of information from similar EIAs, expert criteria, sensitivityof affected population etc. To treat this information, which is generally inaccurate, systematically, fuzzyarithmetic and approximate reasoning methods can be utilised. This is called as a fuzzy logic approach.
At the end of the project, an EIA should be followed by an audit. An EIA audit evaluates the performance of an EIA bycomparing actual impacts to those that were predicted. The main objective of these audits is to make future EIAs morevalid and effective. The two main considerations are:scientific - to check the accuracy of predictions and explain errors.management- to assess the success of mitigation in reducing impacts.Some people believe that audits be performed as a rigorous scientific testing of the null hypotheses. While some believe ina simpler approach where you compare what actually occurred against the predictions in the EIA document.
After an EIA, the precautionary and polluter pays principles may be applied to prevent, limit, or require strict liability orinsurance coverage to a project, based on its likely harms. Environmental impact assessments are sometimes controversial.
1 Application1.1 Australia1.1.1 The Commonwealth Level1.1.2 The State and Territory Level1.1.2.1 Australian Capital Territory (ACT) New South Wales (NSW) Northern Territory (NT) Queensland (QLD) South Australia (SA) Tasmania (TAS) Victoria (VIC) Western Australia (WA)1.2 Canada1.3 China1.4 Egypt1.5 EU1.5.1 The Netherlands1.6 Hong Kong1.7 India1.8 Malaysia
14/11/2011 22:09Environmental impact assessment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaPage 3 of 15http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_assessment
1.9 Nepal1.10 New Zealand1.11 Russian Federation1.11.1 Federal Service for monitoring the use of natural resources1.11.2 Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Control1.12 Sri Lanka1.13 United States2 Transboundary application3 Annexed projects4 See also5 References6 Further reading7 External links
The history of EIA in Australia could be linked to the enactment of the U.S. National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) in1970, which made the preparation of environmental impact statements a requirement. In Australia, one might say that theEIA procedures were introduced at a State Level prior to that of the Commonwealth (Federal), with a majority of the stateshaving divergent views to the Commonwealth.
One of the pioneering states was New South Wales, whose StatePollution Control Commission issued EIA guidelines in 1974. At a Commonwealth (Federal) level, this was followed bypassing of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act in 1974. The Environment Protection and BiodiversityConservation Act 1999 (EPBC) superseded the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 and is the currentcentral piece for EIA in Australia on a Commonwealth (Federal) level. An important point to note is that thisCommonwealth Act does not affect the validity of the States and Territories environmental and development assessmentsand approvals; rather the EPBC runs as a parallel to the State/Territory Systems.
Overlap between federal and staterequirements is addressed via bilateral agreements or one off accredition of state processes, as provided for in the EPBCAct.
The Commonwealth Level
The EPBC Act provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna,ecological communities and heritage places-defined in the EPBC Act as matters of ‘national environmental significance’.Following are the eight matters of ‘national environmental significance’ to which the EPBC ACT applies
:World Heritage sites;National Heritage places;RAMSAR wetlands of international significance;Listed threatened species and ecological communities;Migratory species protected under international agreements;The Commonwealth marine environment;Nuclear actions (including uranium mining); andNational Heritage.In addition to this, the EPBC Act aims at providing a streamlined national assessment and approval process for activities.These activities could be by the Commonwealth, or its agents, anywhere in the world or activities on Commonwealth land;and activities that are listed as having a ‘significant impact’ on matters of ‘national environment significance'.
The EPBC Act comes into play when a person (a ‘proponent') wants an action (often called a ‘proposal’ or ‘project’)assessed for environmental impacts under the EPBC Act, he or she must refer the project to the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (Australia). This ‘referral’ is then released to the public, as well as relevantstate, territory and Commonwealth ministers, for comment on whether the project is likely to have a significant impact on

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