EIA Update | July 2012

16th July 2012

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IEMA's latest update on legislation and guidance relating to environmental impact assessment (EIA) including news on the new EU Directive

Future of the EIA Directive

The European Commission has indicated that it plans to launch proposals for a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) Directive in September.

While the focus will be on making the EIA process more efficient and harmonised between member states, IEMA understands that serious consideration is being given to including provisions that would require monitoring the environmental effects of a development post-consent, and discussions are ongoing as to whether to introduce a mandatory scoping process.

Additional development

The European Commission has recently set out its view on how far the EIA of a main development should go in relation to ancillary and associated developments.

The short advisory note details the commission’s position on two key elements related to such developments.

The first looks at when associated development should not be consented to prior to the main development’s EIA. The commission suggests using what it terms a “gravity test”.

Second, the commission indicates that all likely significant effects of ancillary and associated development should be considered and included in the main development’s EIA process and reported in the environmental statement.

Ecosystem services

Following the publication in January of IEMA’s e-brief on considering ecosystem services in EIA, member Ben Miller was inspired to conduct further research in this area.

Miller is a senior minerals planning officer at Somerset County Council and will be conducting a study into the application of ecosystem services in EIA in England over the next year.

If you are interested in taking part in the study, please contact him at [email protected]

New EIA guidance

  • Guides from the European Commission on integrating climate change adaptation and biodiversity into both EIA and strategic environmental assessment are expected to launch in August.
  • The Scottish government is continuing to redevelop its PAN58 document on EIA and is interested in case studies of proportionate and efficient EIA practice from Scotland. Please submit your examples to [email protected].
  • IEMA and the Landscape Institute plan to publish the third edition of the Guidelines on landscape and visual impact assessment in early 2013.
  • A consortium, including WSP Environment & Energy and Levett Therivel, has been commissioned by RenewableUK to develop guidelines for cumulative impact assessments for offshore wind farms.


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