EIA update | November 2011

10th November 2011

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  • Environment agencies ,
  • EU ,
  • Management



IEMA's update on the publication of new EIA legislation and guidance

Strategic environmental assessment – court ruling

In October, the European Court of Justice decision on an SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) case in Northern Ireland was published. The ECJ ruled that in principle there are no legal problems with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s consultation body role in relation to the plans of the country’s Department for Environment.

Consultation: RSS revocation –environmental reports

The government is consulting on environmental reports produced in response to the planned revocation of English regional spatial strategies (RSS). The reports find limited environmental consequences as a result of the revocations, which is surprising given the benefits predicted by the reports that accompanied the RSS’s launch.

EIA Regulations

Northern Ireland – is consulting on its town and country planning EIA Regulations. The draft Regulations take account of the 2009 changes to the EIA Directive (carbon capture and storage) and case law (Baker and Mellor). IEMA’s Northern Ireland steering group will shortly be responding to the consultation.

Wales – the Welsh Assembly government will consult on revised town and country planning EIA Regulations by the end of the year, covering the same issues as its Northern Ireland counterparts. The revisions will also consolidate the numerous amendments into a new single Regulation once adopted in 2012.

England – the launch of EIA regulatory guidance is expected soon. Its delay is due to departmental sign-off processes.

EIA conference

On 27 October, IEMA presented at a Scottish government EIA conference, held to ensure planning authorities are up to date with the new Regulations. The event was a success and the Scottish government highlighted its updated EIA webpages, which will host slides and proceedings from the day. They also plan to revise PAN58 (first published in 1998) and are interested in hearing views on this via the website.

SEA toolkit revisions

The Scottish government’s review of the SEA toolkit is progressing well, with a lively event held on 1 November that discussed recommendations from the toolkit’s volunteer review panels. A number of IEMA members have fed into this process, which will see a new guide and case studies produced in 2012.

IEMA EIA webinars

IEMA will begin running monthly lunchtime webinars from late November with themes including ecology, socio-economics and effective EIA communication. EIA Quality Mark registrants will give presentations. For details see iema.net/events.


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