Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit (EIA\EA)
Highlights of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Audit Regulations (EIA/EA) - Legal Notice No.121 of 2003
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a critical examination of the effects of a project on the environment. The goal of an EIA is to ensure that decisions on proposed projects and activities are environmentally sustainable. An EIA is conducted in order to identify impacts of a project on the environment, predict likely changes on the environment as a result of the development, evaluate the impacts of the various alternatives on the project and propose mitigation measures for the significant negative impacts of the project on the environment.
The EIA also generates baseline data for monitoring and evaluating impacts during the project cycle as well as highlighting environmental issues with a view to guiding policy makers, planners, stakeholders and government agencies to make environmentally and economically sustainable decisions. It seeks to minimize adverse impacts on the environment and reduces risks. EIA also identifies measures to mitigate the negative impacts while maximizing on the positive ones.
The EMCA,1999 requires that during the EIA process a proponent shall in consultation with the Authority seek views of persons who may be affected by the project or activity through posters, newspaper, radio and hold at least three public meetings with the affected parties and communities. The Project proponent pays for the entire EIA process. The fee payable to NEMA is 0.1% of the project cost.
Environmental Audit (EA) is the systematic documentation, periodic and objective evaluation of activities and processes of an ongoing project. The goal of EA is to establish if proponents are complying with environmental requirements and enforcing legislation. The purpose of EA is to determine the extent to which the activities and programs conform to the approved environmental management plan. A comprehensive EA ensures a safe and healthy environment at all stages of project operations and decommissioning.
An initial environmental audit and a control audit are conducted by a qualified and authorized environmental auditor or environmental inspector who is an expert or a firm of experts registered by the Authority. In the case of an ongoing project the Authority requires the proponent to undertake an initial environmental audit study to provide baseline information upon which subsequent environmental audits shall be based
Self Audits are carried out after the environmental impact assessment study report has been approved by the Authority or after the initial audit of an ongoing project. The proponent shall take all practical measure to ensure the implementation of the environmental management plan by carrying out a self auditing study on a regular basis.