Eia directive

IEMA's policy experts have welcomed the arrival of vital amendments to the EU Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, which came into force across the UK on 16 May.

‘This is a significant point for EIA professionals,’ said policy lead Josh Fothergill. ‘It marks the culmination of a great deal of reflection and review by practitioners, where they have needed to make some noise to achieve the right outcome, particularly around the definition of “competent experts”. IEMA members will be pleased to see the amendments finally become law, so policy and practice can realign effectively.’

IEMA was involved throughout the consultation of the EIA Directive review. It fed member views into all stages of the process, and was positively referred to by the European Commission in its proposals in October 2012 to revise the directive – the only professional body to be mentioned. IEMA has spent the past three years priming its practitioners to handle the changes.

To support members’ understanding of key EIA areas, IEMA has published two free guides:

  • The Environmental Impact Assessment Guide to Assessing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions and Evaluating their Significance – created in partnership with consultancy Arup; and
  • Health in Environmental Impact Assessment: a primer for a proportionate approach – written in collaboration with health consultancy Ben Cave Associates and professional body the Faculty of Public Health.

The guide on EIA and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions focuses on the effects of emissions, which are integral to the understanding of any project’s impact. Professionals who deal with ensuring best practice in assessing GHG emissions and evaluating their significance in EIA projects are advised to familiarise themselves with the guide.

The second guide focuses on the population and human health factors that should be on the list of environmental topics considered by assessments, something demanded by the changes to the directive. The document explains the changes and their implications for industry.

Both guides can be downloaded at iema.net/home/whats-new.