EIA Cycle and Procedure
Till previous chapter we have studied the steps involved in getting EC from the Government; but the project proponent also plays an important role as he/she has do make a report based on various decisions and points given by the EIA experts.
Therefore, the whole cycle involves the role of proponent, appraisal commmittee and pollution control boards. These are the steps involved in whole EIA process:
The steps highlighted in yellow are done by the Appraisal Committee that we have aleady discussed in details.
Screening and Scoping
Screening of Category B projects to decide the requirement of EIA. B1 and B2 categorization
Scoping is for A and B1 projects to finalize the TOR
Baseline Data Collection
Baseline date as the name indicate is the data collection for all environment parameters at the initial stage when nothing has been started on site. It is collected for Air, Water, Land, Socio-economic parameters etc (will be discussed later). This data always help to compare the parameters before and after the project and its intensity of impact.
- Baseline data describes the existing environmental status of the identified study area
- The site-specific primary data should be monitored for the identified parameters
- Supplement secondary data if available
Primary date is the value of parameters measured at site however, secondary data means the data already reported previously.
Impact prediction is a way of mapping the environmental consequences of the significant aspects of the project and its alternatives
Environmental impact can never be predicted with absolute certainty and this is all the more reason to consider all possible factors and take all possible precautions for reducing the degree of uncertainty
Impact prediction is done based on the present status of environmental parameters.
A water of a proposed site is having high iron content and the proposed industry is going to release iron rish water as a discharge. In this case the degree and intensity of impact will be much higher rather than a site with no iron content in water. Thus, the proponent either has to change site or do something for iron discharge. This becomes additionality for the proponent.
Assessment of Alternatives
For every project, possible alternatives should be identified and environmental attributes compared
Alternatives should cover both project location and process technologies
Alternatives should consider no project option also
Alternatives should then be ranked for selection of the best environmental option for optimum economic benefits to the community at large
An EIA report should provide clear information to the decision-maker on the different environmental scenarios without the project, with the project and with project alternatives. Uncertainties should be clearly reflected in the EIA report
Draft EIA report is prepared and send for conduction Public Hearing
As discussed earlier the proponent with high iron content site can have alternate site; else the technology used can be alternative. Using modern technology can reduce the impact however will increase the cost.
This phase of EIA cycle has been discussed in details in the previous unit.
Environment Management Plan
Delineation of mitigation measures including prevention and control for each environmental component and rehabilitation and resettlement plan.
Delineation of monitoring scheme for compliance of conditions
Delineation of implementation plan including scheduling and resource allocation
For air pollution from the industry the EMP can suggest some Air Pollution Control Device based on the pollutant released, for higher level of dust; spraying of water, noise control by walls or phytographic barrier like green belt by trees.
- Monitoring should be done during both construction and operation phases of a project
- This is not only to ensure that the commitments made are complied with but also to observe whether the predictions made in the EIA reports were correct or not
- Where the impacts exceed the predicted levels, corrective action should be taken
- Monitoring will enable the regulatory agency to review the validity of predictions and the conditions of implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
Only correct monitoring can tell the exact environmental condition, therefore it should be done before the project starts, during construction and also during operation phases.
The air pollution levels like dust etc will be different before construction starts, during construction and after construction.
Site Selection Criteria
Site selection criteria means the points that should be kept in mind before choosing a site for project. The guidelines are given by MoEF to ensure correct site selection.
Preliminary Site Selection Criteria
- Project should not be located in environmentally sensitive areas. Example protected areas
- Project should not be in conflict with existing policies and plans. Example as per the master plan
- Project should not be in conflict with existing legislation. Example products ban in State
- Project should not be in conflict with potentially desirable land use plan. Prime agricultural land
- Project site should be compatible with supportive capacity. Example natural resources required
Criteria by MoEF
Land acquired should be minimum but sufficient to provide for a green belt (half km) wherein the treated wastewater, if possible/suitable, could be utilised from wastewater treatment systems
Enough space may be provided for storing solid wastes. The space and the waste can be made available for possible reuse in future
Layout and form of the project must conform to the landscape of the area without unduly affecting the scenic features of that place
Associated township of the project if any to be created must provide for space for phyto - graphic barrier between the project and the township and should take into account predominant wind direction
No forest land shall be converted into non-forest activity for the sustenance of industries as per Forest Conservation Act
Acquired site should be in lowest location to remain obscured from general site
Distances to be maintained