Book review: Environmental impact assessment (second edition)

13th June 2012

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Environmental impact assessment (second edition)

Stephen Tromans / Bloomsbury Professional / Paperback £85 /
ISBN 978–1–84766–675–8

The name Stephen Tromans will be familiar to many readers of the environmentalist owing to his regular “Laying down the law” column. What they may not know is that in 2003 he co-authored a book, entitled Environmental impact assessment – law and practice.

The first edition was a tour de force of the legal framework and case law related to EIA, with the latter part of the book dedicated to good practice in assessment.

This second edition has dropped the good-practice advice, which is increasingly available elsewhere, and instead focuses on the regulatory and legal aspects of EIA.

This may sound like a rather dry subject, but for the practising professional the singular focus enhances the book and provides an essential counterpart to knowledge gained from the practical application of EIA.

Tromans introduces the legislative context of EIA before moving through the screening process, assessment procedures and subsequent environmental statement. He then covers special cases of impact assessment in the planning system and where EIA is applied to non-planning developments.

New to this edition are sections on strategic environmental assessment and the application of conservation and habitats legislation (eg the Habitats Directive) in an EIA context – both of which are welcome additions.

The new version is nearly one-third longer than the first edition and provides comprehensive coverage of the increasingly complex and overlapping legal cases.

It takes full account of the 2011 changes to planning-related EIA Regulations in England – the regulatory focus of the book is on the English planning regime. This book will be of great value to EIA practitioners, planners, statutory consultees and academics alike.

In the few months it has been sitting on my desk I have found it a useful reference guide. This is not a book for the general environment professional, but if you are directly involved in EIA you should definitely have ready access to a copy.

Review by Josh Fothergill, IEMA policy and practice lead on EIA


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