Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA/EA)
Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, and are used to identify the environmental, social and economic impacts of a project prior to decision-making. They aim to predict environmental impacts at an early stage in project planning and design, find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts, shape projects to suit the local environment and present the predictions and options to decision-makers.
By using Environmental Impact Assessments both environmental and economic benefits can be achieved, such as reduced costs and time of project implementation and design, avoided treatment/clean-up costs and impacts of laws and regulations. The fundamental components of an EIA would likely involve the following stages:
- Scoping to identify which potential impacts are relevant to assess (based on legislative requirements, expert knowledge and public involvement), to identify alternative solutions that avoid, mitigate or compensate adverse impacts on biodiversity (including the option of not proceeding with the development, finding alternative designs or sites which avoid the impacts, incorporating safeguards in the design of the project, or providing compensation for adverse impacts), and finally to derive terms of reference for the impact assessment;
- Assessment and evaluation of impacts and development of alternatives, to predict and identify the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, including the detailed elaboration of alternatives;
Keystone Environmental has completed environmental impact assessments that have supported Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) and local regulatory permitting requirements.