Any EIA consists of three key stages (Figure 1). The first preliminary assessment stage involves the identification and collection of relevant information, which is called screening. During this step, the decision is made on whether full EIA is required for the project. If the decision is yes and it is necessary to undertake a full EIA, then the second stage starts. The second stage, called scoping, identifies what constitutes relevant information to be identified and assessed with respect to the key impacts of the proposed development. This type of information is often called the baseline data. The baseline data must then be analyzed and compared to the environmental situations with and without the development. This second phase of EIA consists of impact prediction and the impact assessment stage. The results of all this data collection and analysis are usually reported to the relevant decision-makers in an 'environmental impact statement' (EIS). The final stage comprises a review of the EIS and its adequacy as a basis for the competent authority to make the decision on 'development conditions'.
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