Environmental Impact Assessment Essay

1346 Words 6 Pages
Several countries and international organizations use procedures for environmental impact assessment of projects to understand the effects of those projects on the environment and to judge whether or not to give approval for the same (Colley, 1989). These procedures are a prerequisite in the EIA process where a significant part is to produce an environmental impact statement. There are several factors that contribute to the overall performance of the EIA process. Of particular importance is the quality of the EIS, but many studies have shown that the EIS’s produced in the early days were not up to the mark (Colley, 1989). A review package developed by Colley for use in assessment for the quality of EIS’s was submitted in response
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Literature Review
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a decision making tool employed to identify and evaluate the environmental consequences of certain proposed development actions (Cashmore, 2004). The US National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 was the first formal EIA system to be established. The act was mainly implemented as a response to changing nature of industrial development after world war 2, failure of existing tools to address environmental deterioration related concerns and the increasing public disquiet about the consequences of economic development without giving enough concern to the environment. After the passage of NEPA into law, federal agencies were required to develop EIS’s and make it available to the public to show that the conditions for the project to go ahead had been met. The production of the EIS made the agencies accountable to the public. After the introduction of NEPA in the U.S, other countries started to adopt environmental assessment practices. The early adopters were Australia, Canada and Sweden. Since then, many other countries have
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The decade led to increasing environmental awareness, public demand and pressure on governments that environmental factors be considered in the decision making process of development (Noble, 2014). Due to the pressures of the 1960’s, the 1970’s witnessed the passage of environmental protection legislations, most notably the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 that was passed by the U.S government. Initially, EIA was characterized by casual observations of the biophysical environment, particularly in the project area. By the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s, EIA became more organized and technical oriented.

The scope of EIA was broadening to include project scoping to attempt to identify the important issues and information requirements for project assessment. Improvements and additions were constantly being made to EA. (Enserink, 2000) compared a quick scan analysis technique to screening where the important aspects of the project such as the characteristics of the problem and the relationship between these characteristics and the dynamics of decision making will be analyzed (Enserink,

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