Screening is a process when decision is made whether an EIA is required for the project (Table 1).
In view of the potential for significant costs in data collections and assessment, and delays in project approval associated with the EIA process, planners and environmentalist accept the principle of 'adoption of levels of assessment commensurate with the significance of the issue raised'.
These facts are reasons why in most countries lists of projects have been developed which should be subjected to EIA (Table 2): these list may slightly vary among countries. Screening of these projects must lead to a yes decision that EIA is required. The main considerations in preparing such lists are project type, size (size is a crucial parameter, similar activity which will be propose in smaller scale can be excluded from EIA), and the consequence of likely impacts. Project location is also a part of the impact identification, as a development in one area may be far more severe than if it were located elsewhere. New types of development or processes should also be considered, as precedents against which risk of impact can be assessed are not available. The magnitude and significance of the project impact is determined by the type of project and its location and it can result that establishing rigid screening criteria may be unsatisfactory. The screening follows a number of steps, which should lead to the decision if a full EIA is required. After the decision is made the decision and reason for making this decision has to be recorded and publicly notified.
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