Environmental impact assessment consists of 4 phases which are as follows:
(i) Organizing the job.
(ii) Performing the assessment.
(iii) Writing the environmental impact statement (EIS)
(iv) Review of the EIS.
1.Organizing the job:
In the step, the action or project is identified and an interdisciplinary (ID) team is constituted to conduct the environmental analysis. For the success of analysis, appropriate experts as per requirement are to be included like chemists, geologists, agriculturist, engineers, scientists etc.
A time schedule for the conduct of analysis and knowledge of the relevant rules, regulations are necessary. Finally a form is prepared with all necessary information and is distributed to each member of the ID team.
2.Performing the assessment:
This phase of EIA consists of the following steps:
(a) Site visit by ID team to determine the possible environmental effects of the proposed project.
(b) Identification of the likely beneficial or adverse environmental effects of the proposed project.
(c) Discussion of alternatives, i.e.
(i) What are the alternative uses of the site, where the object or activity is proposed to take place?
(ii) Are there any alternatives of obtaining the objectives of the proposed project?
(d) Preparation of a checklist for EIA to ensure complete coverage of all the possible consequences of the proposed activity project, so that it can be determined as to what administrative action should be taken as a result of the project/ activity.
Measurement of the environmental impact due to the project/activity:
For this purpose, checklist method is used in which a comprehensive list is made of the environmental attributes related to the particular action. A change in environmental attribute reflects impact on the environmental, resulting from the particular activity.
Criteria for selecting EIA-methodology:
A large number of models and methodologies being practiced in EIA studies. One has to choose between two extremes i.e. complete uniformity and complete uniqueness. Since both these approaches have limitations, many specialists of EIA have used their own methodology for each one of the projects.
3. Preparation of EIS:
EIS is the conclusion of EIA, since the result of the assessments is reported through it. It is prepared by the combined effort of the ID team should contain the following items:
(a) Description of the site of the project or environmental.
(b) Description of the project, purpose of the action, its aims and objectives, area, extent, equipments, manpower, material requirement.
(c) Environmental impact of the project (air, water, land, ecology, sound, socio-economic).
(d) The unavailable adverse effect resulting from the project.
(e) Identifying measures that can be taken in order to minimize the adverse effects.
(f) Relationship between local long term and short term uses.
(g) Incorporating the modification in the proposed project.
Finally, the EIS is presented to the public, competent authorities and independent experts. Further, it is reviewed carefully before any decision is taken in favor or against the proposed project.
4. Review of the EIS:
After the completion of EIA report, the proposed project is made available to the public through press. Anyone likely to be affected by the project is entitled to have access to the executive summary of the EIA. The affected person may include:
(a)Bonafide local residents.
(b) Local associations.
(c) Any other person located at the project site/sites of displacement.
(d) Environmental groups active in the area.
They are to be given an opportunity to make oral/written suggestions. At least one month period is given for public inspection and submission of comments on EIS.
After the final review of beneficial and adverse environmental impacts and costs benefit analysis etc. a decision is ultimately taken to either approve or reject the proposed project.