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TECHNICAL GUIDELINES

Number 01

Environment Impact Assessment

March 2014

1.0

Introduction
This Guideline was prepared and issued by the Environmental Planning & Studies
Section (EPSS) under the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality. It is
intended for use by Project Owners, Planners, Engineers, and Environmental
Specialists for purposes of compliance with the requirements and procedures in
obtaining an Environmental Clearance for any project in Dubai through the
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
This document, heretofore called as the Technical Guidelines No.01 on EIA,
Revision1, issue of March 2014, shall in effect supersede and replaces the EPSS
Technical Guidelines No. 1 issue of April 2011. Likewise, it revokes EPSS Technical
Guidelines No. 4 on the EIA Requirements for Category C Projects, issue of April
2011

2.0

Definition of Terms
For the exclusive use of this guideline, the following terms, phrases, acronyms
and definitions apply:
Competent Authority

the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality

EPSS

the Environmental Planning and Studies Section,


under the Environment Department of Dubai
Municipality, which is responsible for the
enforcement of the Technical Guidelines on EIA.

Environment

the biosphere in which different forms of life are


manifested and consist of two elements:
Natural Element which comprises living creatures to
include man, animal, plant, and other living creatures,
natural resources to include water, soil, organic and
inorganic substances and natural systems.
Unnatural Element which comprises all that man has
introduced into the natural environment, to include
fixed and movable installations, roads, bridges,
airports, means of transportation and innovative
industries, inventions and technologies

Project

any activity, process, premises or development


regardless of scale or magnitude, which has impact,
whether significant or not, on the environment

Project Owner

any natural or juridical person intending to


implement a project or business activity. The owner
of a certain project or business activity.

Stakeholder-

any person or group of persons, organization whether


governmental or private who may be directly or
indirectly affected by the project or activity.

Establishment

means any licensed commercial or industrial activity


which may include any building, factory, equipment,
shop or office and any area or land and structures
pertaining thereto.

Environmental Aspect

an element, component, or resulting product of an


activity or project development that interacts with
the environment.

Environmental Impact

is the resulting effect of an environmental aspect.


Impact is heretofore used interchangeably and has
the same meaning as effect.

Positive impact

is a beneficial effect. A positive environmental impact


is also identified or measured as cause enhancement
to the existing environment. A positive impact is
synonymous to beneficial effect.

Negative impact

is described as a deterioration effect on environment.


It is also commonly called as an adverse impact.

Environmental
Consultant

a Specialist or group of Specialist professionals in the


field of environmental science and/or engineering,
who are normally commissioned by the Project
Owner to conduct the EIA.

Environmental
Clearance

also heretofore called as EC, is the license or


approval in writing issued by the Competent
Authority as required and provided for under the
relevant legislations. EC is issued to the Project Owner
after a favorable review of the EIA report. It specifies
the scope and conditions that must be implemented
during the life cycle of the project.

Environmental Impact commonly called EIA or EIA process, is the methodical


Assessment
appraisal of the environmental aspects and impacts
of a proposed project. The EIA process also review
options and determines appropriate mitigation and
enhancement measures that are needed to minimize,
if not to eliminate, any adverse impacts due to
project development.

Project Description

is a document that describes the extent, limit and


scale of a project. It also provides data of project
location, area coverage, and details of its
components, activities and processes involved. It also
provides the information of waste generation and
discharges
expected
from
the
project
implementation.

EIA Scoping

is the initial stage of EIA process, which involves a


review of available data pertaining to a project, its
expected environmental aspects, and the extent and
degree of its potential impacts. This stage involves
consultation with the concerned stakeholders, and
requires the submission to EPSS of an EIA Scope of
Work, which provides the proposed coverage of an
EIA exercise by the Project Owner or its authorized
Environmental Consultant.

Stakeholder

is any person, organization or institution that


considered as either the beneficiary of the project or
whom that may adversely affected, directly or
indirectly, by the implementation of the project.

EIA Report

is the documentary and comprehensive account of


project EIA process. It is the prerequisite document
prepared and submitted by the Project Owner in
support of their application to obtain Environmental
Clearance for their project. It also includes an outline
of the environmental management and monitoring
plans that the Owner will undertake to protect the
environment.

EIA Summary

also heretofore called as EIAS, is an EIA document


similar to an EIA Report in brief. The EIAS contains the
information as outlined in the Project Scope of
Work with details of all the environmental aspects of
the project and a clear discussion of impacts
expected from each environmental aspect

EIA Checklist

simplified checklist version of an EIS, prescribed by


the EPSS, to be filled up by the Project Owners to
identify and assess a Projects environmental aspects
and environmental impacts

3.0

Reference Legislations
The relevant provisions of the following laws were used as guidance and
reference in the preparation of this guideline:

Articles Federal Law No. (24) of 1999 for the Protection and Development of
the Environment, as amended by Federal Law No: 11 of 2006, and its related
Ministerial Decree No. 37 issue of 2001 on the regulations concerning
Environmental Impact Assessment.

Local Order No. 61 of 1991 on the Environment Protection Regulations in the


Emirate of Dubai.

4.0

Key Principles of EIA

4.1

Any project development must be environmentally sustainable and equitably


meets the needs of present and future generations.

4.2

Implementation of any proposed project, development, activity or industrial


establishment and any expansion thereat, which has the potential to cause
significant adverse environmental impacts, shall not be started unless an EIA
process is undertaken and an environmental license or Environmental
Clearance is obtained in advance from the EPSS-Environment Department.

4.3

The integration of the EIA process early into the project development cycle is a
vital aspect of project planning. The EIA process, which primarily concerned with
assessing the overall impacts of any proposed project, development or activity,
also ensures the inclusion of necessary environmental protection, mitigation, and
enhancement measures into the project design elements.

4.4

As a vital project planning and decision-making tool, the EIA process guides the
Proponent, Stakeholder and the Competent Authority into making an informed
decision whether or not the proposed project development meets the desired
criteria on sustainability and economic viability.

4.5

Effective review of the EIA document depends largely on accurate, complete and
timely disclosure of relevant information, usually provided by the Project
Proponent and concerned Stakeholders during the EIA process. The EIA report
serves as the most vital document in evaluating the environmental soundness
and viability of a proposed project or activity. The EIA report holds the key in
leading the EIA process into an informed decision whether an environmental
license can be issued or not.

4.6

The Project Proponent has the primary duty, and is responsible for disclosing all
relevant information of the project scope to produce a substantial EIA Report.

5.0

Coverage and Application

5.1

This guideline is applicable throughout the Emirate of Dubai, and it applies to all
persons, property, establishment, activity or project development which is
required, under the law, to go through the EIA process in obtaining
environmental license or environmental clearance.

5.2

It is applicable to any proposed or planned expansion or modification of any


existing project, development, activity or establishment. These projects or
activities are categorized into two main groups according to their type, scale, and
their environment potentials, which are:
Category A Land development, infrastructure, utilities, mining and related
projects.
Category B Industrial projects and/or premises related to manufacturing
activities.

5.3

The generic lists of projects under each Category, and the required level of
documentation for the EIA process are provided separately under a specific EPSS
Technical Guideline prepared for each project Category.

5.4

The specific requirements and procedures that will be followed for Category A
projects are provided under EPSS Technical Guideline No. 2. The Owner of this
type of project must refer to and use the EPSS Technical Guideline No.2

5.5

The requirements and procedures for Category B projects are provided in EPSS
Technical Guideline No: 3. The Owner of this type of project must refer to and
use EPSS Technical Guideline No.3.

5.6

Owner of any project which is not specifically mentioned either in Technical


Guidelines No. 2 or No. 3, or is unsure of the appropriate EIA document to be
prepared, the Owner of such project must submit a Project Description based
on the outline provided under Annex 1 of EPSS Technical Guideline No. 1.

6.0

General Requirement and Procedures

6.1

As initial step in the preparation of EIA document the project owner may
undertake a Scoping exercise. This exercise is optional for some projects but it is
preferred for certain projects where the extent of potential environmental
impacts is undetermined at the concept design or design phase. The resulting
Scoping Report would provide signposts of which environmental aspects of the
proposed project will create significant impacts and that which require further
in-depth studies. The Scoping Report then will be the basis in the preparation of
the EIA terms of reference or EIA scope of work for the ensuing EIA exercise.
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6.2

The EIA scope of work or terms of reference must be submitted to EPSS for
review and approval before the actual EIA exercise is carried out. It must be
prepared by a Specialist or Environmental Consultant, and when submitted to
EPSS for approval shall have a covering letter from the Project Owner.

6.3

All EIA related reports, including the EIA document and any related technical
report that is required by EPSS, must bear the signature of the authorized person
who prepared such report. Endorsement letter from the Project Owner is also
required when submitting such reports.

6.4

Any person acting in behalf of the Project Owner must have an Authorization
Letter stating the scope and responsibilities of the Authorized person, and
such a letter must be provided to the EPSS in order for him/her to conduct
official business at EPSS with respect to environmental regulatory requirements

6.5

The preparation of EIA Report or EIA Summary shall follow the outline as given in
the complimentary EPSS Technical Guideline 02. The EIA Report or EIA Summary
must include a chapter dedicated for the Construction and Environment
Management Plan or CEMP. A framework CEMP shall be presented based on
the identified environmental aspects, impacts and the required enhancement or
mitigation measures. Based upon the framework CEMP a final work-specific
CEMP shall be prepared, which must be submitted to EPSS for review and
approval prior to the actual implementation of a project.

6.6

(a) The timeframe for the evaluation of EIA documents within which to issue an
official reply to the Project Owner or a decision on the projects being applied
for Environmental Clearance (EC) is given, in the table below, and as follows:

Type of Document

Timeframe in number of working days


Category A Project

Category B Project

Project Description

EIA Scope of Work

EIAS

14

EIA Report

21

14

EIA Checklist

(b) The processing timeframe starts from the date when the EIA document is
received at EPSS. It shall automatically stop once EPSS issued its official reply or if
its decision is made. The timeframe will automatically reset once the submission
of the required document(s) or amendments is received anew at EPSS.

6.7

All proposed project or activities must be sited at proper location with adequate
buffer or separation distance from any sensitive receptors or from other adjacent
project or activity, whether existing or planned, which may be another source of
potentially adverse impacts. The sensitivity of the receptors, as well as the
potential external impacts of adjacent project or activity, shall be taken into
consideration in providing the necessary buffer or separation distance.

7.0

Approval or Disapproval of Environmental Clearance Application

7.1

The document regarding the approval or disapproval decision on the application


may be in the form of an EC or a Rejection Letter, which shall be issued directly
to the Project Owner or its duly authorized representative. The EC will be
released only once the Project Owner has settled all requirements, outstanding
fees, liabilities, fines and other obligations with the Environment Department.

7.2

The EC would specify the scope and limitations of the approved project as well as
the required environment protection measures and other means that will ensure
compliance with all applicable regulations on environment protection. While a
rejection Letter on the other hand shall state the reasons for such decision.

7.3

The issuance of EC does not exempt the Project Owner from obtaining other
government permits and clearances as may be required by relevant law. It does
not also preclude other government agencies on enforcing their own
requirements, rules and regulations on a particular project that was issued an EC
by EPSS.

8.0

Post EIA Requirements

8.1

Compliance Monitoring
Once approval is issued, the implementation of the project shall be monitored to
ensure compliance with the stipulated conditions, and to determine whether the
submitted environmental management program is effective or requires further
improvement.

8.2

Self-Monitoring Reports
The Project Owner shall be required to carry out periodic analyses of wastes,
discharges and pollutants arising from the project, and to monitor their impacts.
The scope of analyses will be specified by EPSS in writing which may be
stipulated in the issuance of the EC. Accounts of monitoring and result of
analyses shall be maintained to form part of the self-monitoring report that must
be regularly provided to the EPSS.

For further information, please visit Dubai Municipality website www.dm.gov.aeor contact the
Environmental Planning & Studies Section on Tel. No: 046066757, fax: 047033565

Annex I
Outline Content of a Project Description
I.

Name and Type of the Project

II.

Project Location and Area Coverage

III.

Brief Description of Project Activities/Processes


1. Affection plan indicating the area coverage and extent of project; Site plan
showing all buildings, drainage or sewer lines, location of any facilities or
utilities such as the associated sewage/wastewater treatment plants, district
cooling plants, and similar auxiliary structures.
2. Additional drawings showing project layout, main components and footprints
of each and all other relevant information that may be required by EPSS.
3. Description of work methods or activities at the project site as well as details
of equipment or machinery in use and manpower requirements
4. Additional for industrial premises includes: process flowchart, P&I diagram,
list and respective quantities of raw materials, production capacity, energy
requirement, water usage with water balance diagram, material balance
diagram, plant layout, and the location of effluents and emissions discharge
points to air, water or land.

IV.

Waste Details Pertaining to (where applicable):


1. Air Emissions & Noise
- The rate and type of fuel used for all fuel-burning installations
- Types of air pollutants emitted (e.g. TSP, SO2, NOx, etc.)
- Noise levels
2. Water Discharges
- Expected volume of wastewater, on-site treatment needs, reuse &
recycling scheme, and final disposal means.
3. Solid Wastes
- Types and Quantities of solid wastes generated; reuse and recycling
scheme.
4. Hazardous Wastes
- Types and Quantities of hazardous wastes; handling and disposal means.
5. Description of waste treatment and management system, final disposal
means, and the quantities and forms of wastes requiring off-site disposal.

V.

List of Dangerous Goods in Use


Tabulated list of dangerous goods in use to include CAS/PICSS Number;
handling& storage details; and quantities needed on a weekly and annual basis.