The Environmental Impact Study is a term used for the assessment of the consequences made to the environment by a construction project.
When we’re talking about this assessment it is often referred to as the Environmental Impact Assessment or EIS process.
Environmental impact assessment is used to ensure environmental management is considered as part of the approvals process for all development proposals that require assessment by local government or have the potential to harm the environment. It also allows a greater level of public scrutiny.
Environmental impact assessment should:
- make sure developers take responsibility for protecting the environment that may be affected by their proposals
- look at any environmental issues that may arise during the life of the proposal
- help decision makers decide whether the proposal should proceed, and any environmental management and monitoring conditions that should apply
- take into account community and stakeholder views, where the law allows, when assessing the proposal and making a decision.
The process is managed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection or the Coordinator General depending on the project. The draft of the assessment is made available to the public who then have the opportunity to review the proposed project. The aim of the assessment is to ensure the community is made aware of upcoming projects.
The Assessment should include the following:
- A description of the proposed development
- A description of the existing environment that could be affected by the development
- Relevant alternatives to these effects and ways of minimising negative environmental impact
- An outline of issues raised by the public and by stakeholders
- A proposed program for monitoring and managing environmental effects during the project