chapter  11
22 Pages

EIA report preparation

Content of EIA reports Virtually every EIA system possesses a requirement that an EIA report must describe the proposed action and the environment affected, forecast the significant impacts likely to result from the implementation of the action, and present a non-technical summary. There is also generally a provision that EIA reports contain other material, such as discussions of the alternatives considered (see Chapter 8) and of mitigation measures (Chapter 15). The preparation of this information requires the use of a wide variety of methods and techniques. 1

The EIA process is cyclical (see Figure 1.1) and the nature of the action is continually refined as its design progresses. Design work is costly and, because approval is not certain when EIA is undertaken, there is a temptation for the proponent to prepare EIA reports on the basis of designs which are

insufficiently detailed to allow forecasts to be prepared with accuracy. The decision-making and environmental authorities, however, should be seeking a realistic estimate of impacts which may necessitate more detailed design (and more expense) than the proponent originally contemplated. Whatever degree of detail is finally determined to be appropriate, the EIA report represents no more than a record of the impacts forecast to arise from the proposal as developed at a particular point in time. Because the impacts arising from the proposal are likely to change throughout its development, this record should be made as late as possible, i.e. it should represent the nature of the proposal immediately prior to the submission of the EIA report rather than at the initial design phase.