Steps of the EIA Process

Scoping

Environmental scoping is an early and open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues related to a proposed action. The PAA will invite all concerned agencies, the project proponent and other interested persons (if necessary) for the scoping process. The PAA will issue the Terms of References (ToR) for the EIA after the scoping process. The time period available for this step is 30 days.

Screening

The project proponent should submit PAA information regarding the nature, location and impacts of a proposed project that requires an EIA. The best time for a project proponent to submit the preliminary information on the proposed project is as soon as the project concept is finalized and the location of the project is decided. It is upon the PAA to determine whether preparation of an EIA Report is necessary for a proposed project. The PAA has 6 days for the determination of the requirement of an EIA to a proposed project.

EIA Report Preparation

It is the responsibility of the project proponent to prepare the EIA report and to submit it to the PAA for evaluation. Preparation of EIA reports may require the services of a team of consultants as many specialized areas have to be covered. A list of consulting firms who prepare EIA reports is available at the CEA. In addition to this, project proponents may use the services of suitably qualified consultants who may not have registered in the CEA. It is important to note that project proponents should obtain the services of reliable and adequately qualified experts in the relevant field, in order to ensure that the EIA reports will be of the required standard. There is no time limitation allocated for the preparation of the EIA report as it is the responsibility of the Project Proponent to draft an accurate and non deceiving EIA report by taking the necessary time duration to do so.

Public Consultation

On receipt of an EIA report, it will be subjected to an adequacy check in order to ensure that the ToR issued by the PAA has been met. It will then be open for public inspection / comments for a period of 30 working days. If there are any public comments on the EIA report, they will be sent to the project proponent for response.

Technical Review

Subsequent to the public commenting period the PAA will appoint a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to evaluate the EIA report within 30 working days and make its recommendations.

Project Approval

Based on the recommendation of the TEC, the PAA makes its decision on whether to grant approval for a project. If the PAA is not the CEA, it should obtain the concurrence of the CEA prior to granting approval. If the project proponent doesn’t agree with the decision he has a right to appeal to the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment.The decision of the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment is final.

Monitoring and Evaluation

EIA approval is generally given with conditions which the project proponent is expected to meet. The CEA or the PAA will monitor the implementation of conditions / mitigation measures. If the project proponent violates the conditions, the approval may be revoked.