What is Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.
Environment Impact Assessment in India is statutorily backed by the Environment Protection Act, 1986 which contains various provisions on EIA methodology and concept of environmental impact assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) meaning is an important management tool for ensuring the optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development. It covers developmental sectors such as industries, thermal power projects, mining schemes, etc.
What is Environmental Clearance (EC)?
Environmental Clearance License is a procedure to get clearance from the government for certain projects which cause environmental pollution. The government has made a list of projects which need environmental clearance like mining, thermal power plants, infrastructure etc.
The EIA Notification categorizes the projects into two categories, i.e. Category A and B. Projects falling under Category A get clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Category B will get clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. According to Schedule 1 of EIA Notification of 2006, 29 types of projects need environmental clearance. Moreover, a colour codification for industries was implemented which classified the industries according to their impact on the environment. The industries were classified based on the pollution potential index as red, orange, green and white industries. Only the white category industries are exempted from seeking environmental clearance.
Environment Impact Assessment Notification (2006)
The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006 was notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and it supersede the EIA Notification of 1994. A comprehensive procedure is given for obtaining prior environmental clearance for the establishment or expansion of a project given under the law. Under this notification, the approval for environmental clearance from the MoEF is required for-
- Projects listed under Schedule 1
- Developmental projects in fragile areas
- Industrial projects are having more than Rs. 500 million in investment. They have to obtain a letter of intent from the Ministry of Industry, and NOCs from the State Pollution Control Board and the State Forest Department if the project talks about forestland.
- Site clearance and a final environmental clearance for the establishment and operation of any new power plant.
- The industries are categorized into categories A and B depending on their size and capacity. MoEF gives clearance to Category A projects and Category B is given clearance by the SEIAA, i.e. State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.
- Expert Appraisal groups screen the application at the central and State levels.
Stages of Environmental Clearance (EC)
The environmental clearance process comprises four stages, namely,
- Screening Stage: Screening refers to the scrutiny of category ‘B’ projects seeking prior environmental clearance made in Form-1 by the concerned State Level Expert Appraisal Committee for determining whether or not the project requires further environmental studies for the preparation of EIA Certificate for its appraisal depending upon the nature and location specificity of the project.
- Scoping Stage: Scoping is the stage that sets out what needs to be assessed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to help define how to approach environmental aspect and impact assessment and what information may be needed to identify the likely significant effects of the development. You can request a scoping opinion from Concept of the Environmental impact assessment (EIA).
- Public Consultation stage: To ascertain the views of local persons. The outcome of public consultation, which is not a decision-making process, is to be included in environment impact assessment
Certificate and addressed.
- Appraisal stage: Appraisal means the detailed scrutiny by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee of the application and other documents submitted by the applicant for grant of environmental clearance.
Advantages of EIA and EC
By using EIA and EC both environmental and economic benefits can be achieved, such as:
- Reduced cost and time of project implementation and design,
- Avoided treatment/clean-up costs and impacts of laws and regulations.
- Lays base for environmentally sound projects;
- Greater awareness of environmental legislation;
- Protection of Environment
- Optimum utilization of resources(balance between development and Environmental protection)
- Informs decision-makers
- Environmental Impact Assessment reports are a critical component of India’s environmental decision-making process
- Environmental Impact study acts as a detailed study of the potential impacts of proposed projects.
- It helps in predicting environmental impacts at an early stage in project planning and design.
- Based on these reports, the Environment Ministry, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority or other relevant regulatory bodies may or may not grant approval to a project.
- The EIA reports are also important to define measures that the project could take in order to contain or offset project impacts.
- EIA-based approvals for most projects also involve the process of conducting public hearings, so that who are likely to be affected can be taken on board before approving the project.
- EIA links the environment with development.
- The goal is to ensure environmentally safe and sustainable development.
About Our Company:
Metacorp is a company with a vision of supporting a clean & green environment and being a part of development that is sustainable for the environment. Our Company is blessed with a team of young and energetic professionals willing to work with zeal, enthusiasm and guided by experienced leaders. With the continuous pursuit of excellence and persistent efforts for more than 7 years, we are capable to provide the best of services and products to our clients. The environment is at the top of the agenda for governments, civil society and citizens, and is likely to remain so for some time. Its importance in business and purchase decision-making, as well as in legislation, standards and regulations is increasing all the time. As a result, no business or industry can afford to take its environmental performance for granted. Every industry needs environmental aspect and impact assessment as a part of legal compliance, out of pure economic sense and also an out of compassion for ecology and the environment. We at Metacorp, acknowledge your need and commitment to the environment and promise to support it wholeheartedly.