Environmental Impact Assessment YouTube Lecture Handouts for Competitive Exams 2022

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Environmental Impact Assessment - Analyzing Benefits and Actions

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

EIA -Definition

  • Tool to identify environmental, social and economic impacts of a project prior to decision-making – UNEP
  • In India, Started in 1978 - 79 by river valley projects
  • EIA has now been made mandatory under the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 for 29 categories of developmental activities that involves investments of ₹ 50 crores & more
Environmental Impact Assessment Image

Stages Involved in EIA

  • Screening
  • Scoping
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Report EIA: Non-technical summary for the general audience
  • Review EIS
  • Decision Making: Whether to approve project or not
  • Monitoring, Compliance, Enforcement
  • Environmental Auditing

Which Projects Fall under EIA?

  • Which can significantly alter the landscape, land use pattern & lead to concentration of working population
  • Which need upstream development activity like assured mineral and forest products supply
  • Which need downstream industrial process development
  • Those involving manufacture, handling and use of hazardous materials
  • Those sited near ecologically sensitive areas, urban centers, hill resorts, places of scientific and religious importance
  • Industrial Estates which could cumulatively cause significant environmental damage

What to Address?

  • Meteorology and air quality
  • Hydrology and water quality
  • Site and its surroundings
  • Occupational safety and health
  • Details of the treatment and disposal of effluents and the methods of alternative uses
  • Transportation of raw material and details of material handling
  • Control equipment and measures proposed to be adopted

Benefits of EIA

  • Environmental benefits
  • Economic benefits
  • Reduced cost and time of project implementation and design
  • Avoided treatment
  • Clean-up costs
  • Impacts of laws and regulations


Procedure Image

Follow Up

Precautionary Principle: If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public, or environment, in the absence of scientific consensus, the burden of proof falls on those taking the action. Part of Rio Declaration & Kyoto Protocol.

Polluter՚s Pay Principle: To make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. Support from OECD and European Community.

Strategic EIA

  • Formalized, systematic & comprehensive process to identify & evaluate environmental consequences of proposed policies, plans or programs
  • Ensure full inclusion
  • Address at earliest possible stage of decision-making on a par with economic & social considerations
  • Can be applied to entire sector
Strategic EIA Image