EIA Update | July 2013

5th July 2013



IEMA's latest update on legislation and guidance relating to environmental impact assessment (EIA) including information on the latest positions on the revision to the EIA Directive

EIA Directive battle lines

The revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (2011/92/ EU) is taking shape, with greater clarity on the respective positions of the European Council and the EU parliament’s lead committee on the European Commission’s proposed changes.

The council’s proposals, which are still in development, will be taken forward by the Lithuanian government, which is beginning its six-month presidency of the EU. Thus far, the proposals show good alignment with IEMA’s position for a more practical evolution of the Directive. The EU parliamentary committee met to confirm its proposed amendments as the environmentalist went to press. Meanwhile, the outcomes of seminars on the EIA Directive run by the Scottish government, to increase understanding of the likely impacts of the proposed changes on Scotland, are now available online.

Transboundary EIA

In May, the European Commission launched guidance on the application of EIA to large-scale transboundary projects. The guide provides a useful overview of the key terminology, procedural steps and details of when other countries should be informed. The document is available for free download.

UK planning systems

The library at the House of Commons has launched a research paper describing and comparing the current land use planning systems operating in the four UK countries.

It sets out the extent to which similar changes to those in England have been made in other administrations, and usefully describes the changes planned for each country.

Also, the Scottish government has published research reviewing the transposition of the EIA Directive in Scotland. It sets out recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the EIA regulatory regime in north of the border.

Forthcoming guidance

New guidance from the Scottish government on EIA practice, which will replace PAN58 and include a major revision to the 2006 toolkit for strategic environmental assessment (SEA), will be published before October. Meanwhile, at the end of July, RenewableUK will launch its guiding principles on undertaking cumulative impact assessment for offshore renewable projects.

SEA and the 'green' economy

The International Institute for Environment and Development has published Turning green the strategic way. The report explores links between SEA and the green economy, particularly how such assessments can support policies, planning and decision-making for green growth in international initiatives.

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