Scoping is a process of identifying the content and extent of the EIS to be submitted to the competent authority under the EIA process. EIS is a public document helping with decision-making process about political objectives, proposed projects, and changes in land use. EIS is defined as scientific assessment of changes present in the environment by human activities. Usually it describes condition of the environment before and after the proposed action.
While the scoping process is not mandatory in many countries, it is generally seen as an effective means of quality assurance and ensuring that the assessment effort is directed towards the issues of major concern. Scoping is an early stage in the EIA process and is designed to ensure that the environment studies provide all the relevant information on
• the impacts of the project, in particular focusing on the most important impacts;
• the alternative to the project; and
• any other matters to be included.
The finding of scoping defines the 'scope' of the environmental information to be submitted to the competent authority and terms and references for the environmental studies to be undertaken to compile that information. The result of scoping is a 'scoping report' and 'opinions' and it should be provided by the developer to the competent authority. In particular, scoping reports and opinion will always identify the types of environmental impacts to be investigated and reported in the EIS. Scoping involves a scoping consultation, which is in more developed systems extended widely to all interested parties. The benefit of 'scoping' are as follows:
• It helps ensure that the EIS used for decision-making provides a comprehensive picture of the important effects of the project, including issues of particular concern to affected groups and individuals.
• It helps focus resources on the important issues for decision-making and avoid wasted effort on issues of little relevance.
• It helps ensure that the EIS provides a balanced view and is not burdened with irrelevant information.
• It stimulates early consultation between the developer and the competent authority, and with environmental authorities, other interested parties, and the public about the project and its environmental impact.
Table 1 Checklist of information needed for Screening and Scoping
Contact details of the developer
Characteristics of the project
Location of the project
Characteristics of the potential impact(A brief description of the likely impacts of the project considering the following factors)
Name of developer
Main postal address, phone number, fax, e-mail Name of the main contacting person and direct address, phone, e-mail
Brief description of the project Reasons for proposing this project
A plan showing the boundary of the development including any land required temporarily during constructions The physical form of the development (layout, buildings, construction material) Description of main processes including size, capacity, throughput, input, and output Any new access arrangement or changes to existing road layout Work program for construction, operation, and commissioning phase, and restoration and after-use when appropriate Construction methods
Resources used in construction and operation (material, water, energy, etc.)
The relationship with other existing/ planned projects Information about alternatives being considered Information about mitigating measures being considered Other activities which maybe required as a consequence of the project (e.g., new roads, extraction of aggregate, provision of new water supply, generation or transmission of power, increase housing and waste disposal) Details of any other permits required for the project
Maps and photographs showing location of the project relative to surrounding physical, natural, and man-made features Existing land uses on and adjacent to the site and any future planned land uses Zoning or land-use policies Protected area or features Sensitive area
Details of any alternative locations which have been considered
Impact on people, human health, fauna and flora, soils, land use, material assets, water quality and hydrology, air quality, climate, noise and vibration, the landscape and visual environment, historic and cultural heritage resources, and interaction between them. Nature of the impacts (direct, indirect, secondary, cumulative, short, medium and long term, permanent and temporary, positive and negative)
Extent of the impact (geographical area, size of the affected population/habitat/species) Magnitude and complexity of the impact Duration, frequency, and reversibility of the impact Mitigation incorporated into the project design to reduce, avoid, or offset significant adverse impact Transfrontier nature of the impact
It helps effective planning, management, and resourcing of the environmental studies. It should identify alternatives to the proposed project and mitigation measures which ought to be considered by the developer.
It can identify other legislation or regular controls which may be relevant to the project and provide opportunities for the necessary assessment work for different control systems to be undertaken in parallel, thereby avoiding duplication of effort and costs for all concerned.
• It reduces the risk of delays caused by request for further information after submission of the development consent application and EIS.
• It reduces the risk of disagreement about impact assessment methods (baseline surveys, predictive methods, and evaluation criteria) after submission of the EIS.
To allow competent authority to provide a 'scoping opinion', the developer will have to provide the competent authority with some information on the project. The list
Table 2 Examples of list of projects for mandatory EIA Extractive industry
Chemical industry Energy industry
Production and processing of metals
Manufacturing of non-metallic mineral products Food industry
Building and civil engineering
Waste management Water management
Extraction of oil Extraction of gas Extraction of coal Extraction of ores
Production of organic and inorganic substances
Production of explosive substances
Processing of coal
Generating of electricity from nuclear power Coal gasification plant Disposal of radioactive waste
Iron and steel industry Cold rolling of steel
Production and processing of non-ferrous metals
Manufacture of cement
Manufactures of asbestos-cement production
Slaughter houses Manufacture and refining sugar Meet processing
Construction of motorways Airports
Commercial harbors Construction of waterways
Installation of surface pipelines for long-distance transport Installation of electricity lines
Disposal facilities for dangerous waste Disposal facilities for municipal waste Construction of incineration plant
Construction of reservoir (volume > 10 millions m3)a Pumping of ground water (> 10 millions m3yr_1)s Water consumption (> 100 millions m3yr_1)s Construction of waste water treatment plant Construction of sewer system aValues accepted in EU countries.
In case of the activities the size of the activity which will need to have mandatory EIA is dependent on each country's legislation. More activities belong to each listed category. This is just an example.
of information needed for 'scoping' is the same as list for 'screening' except that at the 'scoping' stage more detail is likely to be needed.
Scoping is therefore primarily focused on identifying the impacts to be assessed and which of these are most important. A useful way of identifying the potential impacts of a project is to identify all the activities or sources of impacts that could arise from construction, operation, or decommissioning of the project, and to consider these alongside the characteristics of the project environment that could be affected, to identify where there could be interactions between them.
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