MEPs give new EIA Directive green light

12th March 2014


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Ruth Finlayson

A new EIA Directive is closer to coming into force after the European parliament voted to support amendments in a move described as a "big win" for practitioners by IEMA

The European parliament has today (12 March 2014) voted 528 to 135 in favour of accepting amendments to the proposed new Directive on environmental impact assessment (EIA).

The vote means that the text now only needs formal approval by the EU council to be passed into law. This approval is expected within weeks.

IEMA welcomed the parliament’s decision to back the revised Directive, which will broaden the scope of EIAs to ensure issues such as biodiversity and climate change are considered, and require impact assessments to be prepared and considered by “competent experts”.

“This is a really positive move on the part of the European parliament, which will ensure major development proposals across the EU will benefit from the role of competent experts being formalised,” said Josh Fothergill, IEMA’s lead on EIA.

“Environment and sustainability professionals will no longer have to rely on consenting authorities to condition their unrivalled contributions, which improve project design and minimise environmental impacts, ensuring they are delivered post-consent.”

The revised Directive, as accepted by the European parliament, also provides a new definition of EIA, amends the description of “alternatives”, provides additional support to ensure environmental mitigation is delivered, and includes new requirements on monitoring.

A full breakdown of the revised Directive and what it will mean for practitioners written by Fothergill will be published in the April issue of the environmentalist.


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