Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are used as an environmental management tool to address potential environmental impacts associated with particular projects. An EIA allows permit decision makers the opportunity to identify the potential effects from the proposed project. This can also lead to discussions on alternative survey methods as well as mitigations to lessen or prevent the potential effects from a project.
There is a general guideline when it comes to developing an EIA though the information within can change dependent on the regulatory requirements or guidelines associated with the country the project is to take place in. Certain countries have well-defined processes for developing an EIA such as the UK or Australia, however, many countries have poorly developed guidelines, if any, for the EIA and permitting process.
It is important when beginning the process of planning a survey to initiate the EIA development as early on in project planning as possible. This can help to identify any problem areas that may come up such as highly sensitive issues, seasonal area restrictions, or areas of concern in a country or region. In addition to early discussions with local authorities, it is essential to engage with stakeholders as early in the process as possible. This can alleviate the potential for delays to the project start.
Since many countries do not have a defined regulatory process for developing EIAs, it is essential Clients engage with a company which has experience in this area. Here at EPI, we have experienced environmental scientists and regulatory advisors familiar with the process of an EIA and can assist companies when they begin planning their surveys. When our clients first begin the planning of a project, EPI’s environmental department can assist in several ways.
- Place an environmental project manager with the client to assist in managing the EIA process, especially important if a local company is required.
- Collaborate with the client in discussions with regulators and stakeholders to ensure all requirements for the project are met.
- Develop the EIA for the client from start to finish.
- Work with the client to reduce costs by updating previously developed EIAs for a project area.