Simplified environmental impact assessment processes: review and implementation proposals



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Enríquez de Salamanca, Álvaro (2021) Simplified environmental impact assessment processes: review and implementation proposals. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 90 (106640). pp. 1-8. ISSN 0195-9255

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There is a widespread tendency to streamline EIA, a confusing concept, which in practice usually means shortening processes to speed up project licensing, facilitating investment. It is reasonable for developers seek processes quick, simple and inexpensive, but it is also the obligation of governments to ensure that approved projects are environmentally suitable. Not all projects subject to EIA have the same impacts, so the existence of two processes, simplified and ordinary, seems reasonable. The aim of this paper is to analyse the implementation of simplified EIA processes, discussing its benefits and drawbacks. To do this, we have analysed 55 EIA processes from 25 jurisdictions, discussing its benefits and drawbacks and selecting effective and well-established formulas for simplified EIA. In most of the analysed cases, simplified EIA is achieved by reducing public participation, one of the pillars of EIA. It seems to be a chain reaction: ordinary EIA processes have been “streamlined” by removing formal scoping, giving rise in practice to simplified processes. As a result, simplified processes have been ultra-simplified, eliminating public participation, turning them, at best, into screening stages. Simplification must ensure a proper EIA, and not merely a shortening of deadlines.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Scoping; Screening; Public participation; EIA processes
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Environment
ID Code:71053
Deposited On:08 Mar 2022 16:00
Last Modified:25 May 2022 07:41

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