EDEN IAS

ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

WHAT IS ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA)?

Introduction to Environment Impact Assessment:

It is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term “Environment Impact Assessment” usually use when applying to actual projects by individuals or companies and the term Strategic Environmental Assessment” (SEA) applies to policies, plans and programs most often propose by organs of state. It’s a tool of environmental management forming a part of project approval and decision-making. Environmental assessments may be governs by rules of administrative procedure regarding public participation and documentation of decision making, and may be subject to judicial review.

It aims to predict environmental impacts at an early stage in project planning and design, find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts, shape projects to suit the local environment and present the predictions and options to decision-makers.

HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Environmental Impact Assessments commenced in the 1960s, as part of increasing environmental awareness. An EIA prepares to estimate the effects of a propose development or construction project. EIA provides technical evaluations that intends to contribute to more objective decision making. In the United States, EIA obtaining formal status in 1969, with the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). EIAs have been use increasingly around the world. The number of environmental assessments files every year “has vastly overtaken the number of more rigorous Environmental Impact Statements (EIS).”

COMPONENTS OF ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

EIA NOTIFICATION 2006

The EIA notification 2006, put together a decentralized, efficient, and transparent mechanism to combine developmental processes with environmental concerns to promote sustainable development. It also ensures the consolidation of significant environmental safeguards at the planning stage to ensure a lesser effect on different environmental components.

The salient features of the Environmental Impact Assessment notification, 2006 are:

  • Projects were categorizing into 2 categories namely, Category ‘A’ and Category ‘B’ base on their impact potential.
  • Category A projects and Category B projects undergo the complete EIA process, and divides into two categories.
  1. Category B1 projects (Mandatory requires EIA)
  2. Category B2 projects (Do not require EIA).
  • In this way, category B2 projects are not subject to the full EIA procedure, although category A projects and category B1 projects do.
  • Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) and the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) evaluate “Category A” projects at the national level, while the Category B projects informing at the state level.
  • To approve the Category B process, the State level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) and the State level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) establishing.

ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT NOTIFICATION 2020

The key proposals of the Environmental Impact Assessment notification, 2020 are:

  1. It reduced the time for public hearings from 30 to 20 days.
  2. The classification of projects, such as into A, B1, and B2, exempts from public scrutiny.
  • Post-clearance compliance.
  1. Earlier, in the 2006 notification, compliance reports were to be submitted every six months, but through this proposal, the submission was proposed to be made annually.
  2. The EIA Notification 2020 excludes reporting of violations and non-compliance by the public.
  3. Post-facto clearance: If a project has been operating without environmental clearance before the notification, it can be allowed to apply for clearance.
  • Firms will have to pay the penalty if they are found violating the terms of their establishment.

OBJECTIVES OF ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

  1. Determining, projecting, and assessing the effects of development operations on the environment, society, and economy.
  2. Giving decision-makers information about the effects on the environment.
  3. Encouraging development that is reasonable and ecologically sound by figuring out suitable substitutes and mitigating strategies.

LIMITATIONS OF ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT

  1. The loopholes in the Application process.
  2. Inadequate public participation
  3. Insufficient expertise
  4. Dependency on technical and scientific data for analysis
  5. It lacks many important details from the ground

WAY FORWARD

  1. a) Policies that mandate that all development projects undergo thorough EIA review should be put into place in order to significantly improve the EIA. Enforcing strict policies to halt industrial or other development projects in environmentally vulnerable areas is also essential.
  2. b) A new policy for sector-wide EIA needs to be established in order to comprehend the effects and consequences of several projects as well as how they interact with one another.
  3. c) Experts from the courts, social sciences, environmental science, anthropology, and local and community organizations shall form the EIA conducting body.
  4. d) In order to address social and environmental repercussions, EIAs should be more open to public participation and hearings.

Sources- Wikipedia, PIB