Environmental Impact Assessment

The Environmental Impact Assessment was born in the United States in 1969 from the National Environment Policy Act (NEPS) and it anticipated, by almost ten years, the basic principle of the concept of Sustainable Development, defined as a “sustainable economic development that meets present needs without compromising future generations ability to meet their own needs” enunciated by the World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, in 1987. In Europe, this procedure was introduced by EEC Directive 85/337/EEC (Council Directive dated 27 June 1985, on the Assessment of the Effects of Certain Public and Private Projects on the Environment), and was subsequently implemented in the regulations of the Member States, soon becoming a fundamental instrument in environmental policies.
EIA is a study that evaluates the consequences that a project will have on the territory and on its inhabitants. The examined territory must not only include the areas that are in the immediate vicinity, but it must include all the areas that are near and far, that may feel the impact of the project on the environment in some way.
Environmental Impact Assessment Studies must provide competent authorities the elements for them to decide, as follows:

  • Global environment and Project description stage, which also includes atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and anthroposphere;
  • Identification and assessment stage, of the impacts of the project on the environment, such as interferences and environmental components;
  • General assessment stage, by the party proposing the project or intervention, after having defined the chosen methods and criteria.

EIA is also a process in which the citizens participate, and in this way are informed of the complex environmental and social condition. This enables citizens to control the coherence and the efficiency of the work carried out by the competent authorities and enrichen the decision-making process, with their observations.

Special reports

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    28 August 2020

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    30 April 2019

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    12 April 2019

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From the Multimedia section


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    The different landscapes that we analysed in the previous section are distributed...

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