Prediction and mitigation
Management and monitoring
Final report - Environmental impact statement
The EIA process makes sure that environmental issues are raised when a project or plan is first discussed and that all concerns are addressed as a project gains momentum through to implementation. Recommendations made by the EIA may necessitate the redesign of some project components, require further studies, suggest changes which alter the economic viability of the project or cause a delay in project implementation. To be of most benefit it is essential that an environmental ...view middle of the document...
• Screening often results in a categorization of the project and from this a decision is made on whether or not a full EIA is to be carried out.
• Scoping is the process of determining which are the most critical issues to study and will involve community participation to some degree. It is at this early stage that EIA can most strongly influence the outline proposal.
• Detailed prediction and mitigation studies follow scoping and are carried out in parallel with feasibility studies.
• The main output report is called an Environmental Impact Statement, and contains a detailed plan for managing and monitoring environmental impacts both during and after implementation.
• Finally, an audit of the EIA process is carried out some time after implementation. The audit serves a useful feedback and learning function.
FIGURE 1 Flow diagram of the EIA process and parallel studies
An EIA team for an irrigation and drainage study is likely to be composed of some or all of the following: a team leader; a hydrologist; an irrigation/drainage engineer; a fisheries biologist/ecologist; an agronomist/pesticide expert; a soil conservation expert; a biological/environmental scientist; an economist, a social scientist and a health scientist (preferably a epidemiologist). The final structure of the team will vary depending on the project. Specialists may also be required for fieldwork, laboratory testing, library research, data processing, surveys and modelling. The team leader will require significant management skill to co-ordinate the work of a team with diverse skills and knowledge.
There will be a large number of people involved in EIA apart from the full-time team members. These people will be based in a wide range of organizations, such as the project proposing and authorizing bodies, regulatory authorities and various interest groups. Such personnel would be located in various agencies and also in the private sector; a considerable number will need specific EIA training.
The length of the EIA will obviously depend on the programme, plan or project under review. However, the process usually lasts from between 6 and 18 months from preparation through to review. It will normally be approximately the same length as the feasibility study of which it should form an integral part. It is essential that the EIA team and the team carrying out the feasibility study work together and not in isolation from each other. This often provides the only opportunity for design changes to be made and mitigation measures to be incorporated in the project design.
The cost of the study will vary considerably and only very general estimates can be given here. Typically, costs vary from between 0.1 and 0.3 percent of the total project cost for large projects over US$ 100 million and from 0.2 to 0.5 percent for projects less than US$ 100 million. For small projects the cost could increase to between 1 and 3 percent of...