Scoping and Screening in Environmental Impact Assesssment
AN OPTIONAL ESSAY ON COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE ROLES OF “SCREENING” AND “SCOPING” IN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROCESS. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT COURSE UNIT PLAN60411/PLAN40321 STUDENT ID :8528550 INTRODUCTION Environmental Impact assessment is a systematic process that examines, analyses the environmental consequences of development or development action in advance (Glasson,J. el al 2005).
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It is a logical process for establishing and sustaining an environment of quality by incorporating environmental considerations into decision making; specifying and clarifying the environmental aspects of development proposals to decision makers; indicating ways of mitigation and proffering project alternatives. It involves crucial stages for its optimum desirability and success these include “screening” and “scoping”. This paper of discourse will clearly compare and contrast the roles of these indispensible tools used in environmental impact assessment process.
DEFINATION OF TERMS Screening is a mechanism which seeks to focus on those projects with potentially significant adverse environmental impact or whose impacts are not fully known. Scoping is the process of identifying from a broad range of potential problems, a number of priority issues to be addressed by an environmental impact assessment. (Wathem,P 2004) SCOPE OF STUDY From the foregoing, we can construe that they are essential stages of environmental impact assessment.
Screening and scoping are both preliminary stages of an environmental impact assessment, and executed systematically in stages which must be done in a logical and professional manner, especially in the case of an integrated environmental impact assessment approach. They both have approaches for the scrutiny of a proposed project for consequently crucial in decision making. Both share a major role: the execution of a successful environmental impact assessment as an effective protection and management tool, as resourceful as possible.
Despite what roles they have in common, these components of requisite have distinctive features and approaches in the roles they play in the environmental impact assessment process. Screening is focused on the significance of an impact in the environment, while scoping works on the range of issues to be defined after level of impact significance. They have different approaches to their functionality; screening uses the following approaches: * Schedule 1 (EU: Annex 1) Environmental impact assessment is mandatory * Schedule 2 (EU: Annex 2)
Environmental impact assessment is discretionary, according to thresholds. * Schedule 3 (EU: Annex 3) Further consideration of Schedule 2 projects example environmental sensitivity. The EIA regulations England SI No 1824 2011 While scoping uses * Scoping Checklist * Scoping Matrix * Network programming European commission guidance on EIA: Scoping(2001) Screening uses the Initial Environmental Examination or evaluation (IEE) as its checks and balances. On the other hand, scoping uses Scoping and report/opinion and public input and participation through a Terms of Reference (TOR).
Project screening, precedes project scoping. Hence, screening must be carried out before project scoping. It is recommended and not mandatory to public involvement and stakeholders in screening, scoping differing from screening deems it is mandatory and recommendable for public participants to be involved at the stage of environmental impact assessment. CONCLUSION It is usually difficult to overemphasis the roles played by screening and scoping in environmental impact assessment irrespective of how far they are in contrast or how close they are in comparison.
What is imperative is that the success of an environmental impact assessment depends largely on how well they are conducted. REFERENCES Glasson, J. et al (2005): Introduction to impact Assessment; Routledge, Abingdon, 3rd Edition Wathern, P. (2004): Environmental Impact Assessment, Theory And Practice: west Sussex London Journal On Environmental Impact Assessment Training (2002); Topic 4, UNEP