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  • Coverage of factors involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Assistance in the application and documentation process of the report
  • Comprehensive legal guidance involved in the process
  • Coordinating with every agency throughout the procedure

Overview of Environment Impact Assessment

The process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) involves assessing the any potential effect of a proposed project or development, on the environment, considering its interconnected social, economic, cultural, and human health impacts, both positive and negative. Its purpose is to anticipate environmental impacts during the early stages of the planning and design of the project, discover ways to mitigate adverse effects, tailor projects to the local environment, and present predictions and options to decision-makers. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), EIA is a tool used to identify a project's environmental, social, and economic consequences before making decisions.In India, the Environment Impact Assessment is legally supported by the Environment Protection Act of 1986, which includes various provisions on the methodology and process of EIA.

Importance of Environmental Impact Assessment

The significance of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is as follows:

  • EIA establishes a link between the environment and development, promoting environmentally safe and sustainable progress.
  • EIA offers a cost-effective approach to reduce or prevent the negative consequences of development projects.
  • EIA helps the decision-makers evaluate the environmental impact of development activities long before implementation.
  • EIA fosters the implementation of mitigation strategies within the development plan.
  • EIA ensures that the developmental plan is environmentally sound and respects the ecosystem's capacity for assimilation and regeneration.

Projects covered under the Environmental Impact Assessment

The list of projects that require Environmental Clearance (EC) under the EIA includes:

  • Extraction of minerals through mining activities
  • Exploration, production, and development of offshore and onshore oil and gas resources
  • Construction of river valley projects
  • Establishment of thermal power plants
  • Implementation of nuclear power projects and processing of nuclear fuel
  • Operation of coal washeries
  • Processes involved in mineral beneficiation
  • Setting up of cement plants
  • Activities related to the petroleum refining industry
  • Operation of coke oven plants
  • Milling of asbestos and production of asbestos-based products
  • Manufacturing of chlor-alkali products
  • Operation of metallurgical industries, both ferrous and non-ferrous
  • Production of soda ash
  • Manufacturing of synthetic organic chemicals
  • Operation of distilleries
  • Establishment of integrated paint industry
  • Processing of leather, skin, and hides
  • Production of chemical fertilizers
  • Manufacturing of pesticides and pesticide-specific intermediates (excluding formulations)
  • Production of petrochemicals
  • Manufacturing of manmade fibers
  • Processing of petrochemical-based products
  • Operation of pulp and paper industry (excluding paper manufacturing from waste paper and ready pulp without bleaching)
  • Activities related to the sugar industry
  • Construction and operation of oil and gas transportation pipelines
  • Handling and storage of hazardous chemicals in isolated facilities
  • Development of physical infrastructure such as airports, breaking yards, industrial estates/parks/areas, Export Processing Zones (EPZs), Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Biotech Parks, Leather Complexes, ports, harbors, and highways
  • Setting up of Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs), Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs), and Common Municipal Solid Waste Management Facilities (CMSWMF)
  • Construction of buildings and execution of construction projects
  • Development of townships and area development projects

Factors in Environmental Impact Assessment

Specific factors must be considered during the process of EIA. While some factors may vary depending on the industry, the following elements are usually included across all sectors:

  • Project Description: This section provides an overview of the proposed project, including its geographical, ecological, social, and temporal context. It may also mention any off-site investments that might be necessary and indicate the need for a social development or resettlement plan.
  • Baseline Data: The EIA describes the existing biological, physical, and socio-economic conditions surrounding the project site. It encompasses any anticipated changes that may occur before the project commences.
  • Environmental Impacts: In the EIA, there is a prediction and assessment of the project's expected positive and negative impacts, expressed in quantitative terms. It identifies potential mitigation measures and examines any unavoidable adverse environmental effects. Additionally, it explores opportunities for environmental improvement.
  • Alternatives Analysis: The EIA compares viable alternatives to the proposed project, considering aspects such as the site, technology, design, and operation. This analysis includes a comparison of the potential environmental impacts, the feasibility of mitigating these impacts, capital and recurring costs, suitability for local conditions, and reduction potential.
  • Environmental Monitoring Programme: This section outlines the measures implemented during the construction and operation phases to mitigate, monitor, and manage adverse impacts, aiming to bring them to acceptable levels.
  • Consultation: The EIA documentation includes records of advisory meetings, including those held to gather input from project-affected people (PAPs), local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and governmental authorities. Additionally, it should disclose the consultants involved in the study.
  • Summary: This section concisely overviews the project's rationale and outlines the strategies employed to mitigate adverse effects.

Process of Environmental Impact Assessment

The process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) consists of the following steps. It is important to note that these steps are interconnected and form a continual process:

  • Screening: The project plan is evaluated based on factors such as investment scale, location, type of development, and the need for statutory clearance.
  • Scoping: The potential impacts of the project, the affected areas, possibilities for mitigation, and the requirement for monitoring are determined.
  • Collection of baseline data: The existing environmental conditions of the study area are assessed and documented.
  • Impact prediction: The EIA involves predicting both positive and negative impacts, considering factors like their reversibility, irreversibility, and temporary or permanent nature. A thorough understanding of the project by the assessment agency is crucial for accurate predictions.
  • EIA report: The EIA report includes proposed actions and steps to prevent, minimize, or offset the anticipated impacts. It also addresses the level of compensation necessary for potential environmental damage or loss.
  • Public hearing: Once the EIA report is completed, the public and local environmental groups residing near the project site may be informed and consulted.
  • Decision making: The Impact Assessment Authority, along with experts, consults the project-in-charge and consultants to make the final decision, considering the EIA and the Environment Management Plan (EMP).
  • Monitoring and implementation: The different phases of project implementation are closely monitored to ensure compliance with the environmental management plan.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Report: Viable alternatives for the project, including location and process technologies, are identified and compared based on environmental factors. Once alternatives are reviewed, a mitigation plan is developed for the selected option, accompanied by an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to guide the proponent in achieving environmental improvements.
  • Risk assessment: EIA procedures may also include inventory analysis, hazard probability assessment, and determining a hazard index.

Documents required for Environmental Impact Assessment

The EIA report is compiled based on the Terms of Reference (TOR) established during the Scoping phase. The required documents include:

  • General project information, such as project name and location.
  • Specifics regarding project-related activities, including area distribution, water requirements, and waste generation.
  • Details about the utilization of natural resources in the project.
  • Identification of substances or materials that may pose hazards or be harmful.
  • Assessment of pollution emissions into the air, soil, and waterways.
  • Evaluation of noise, vibration, light, and heat emissions.
  • Analysis of the risk of accidents.
  • Consideration of factors that may have cumulative or consequential effects.
  • Information regarding environmentally sensitive areas in the vicinity of the project site.
  • Site/layout plan.
  • Documentation of installed machinery.
  • Proof of land ownership.
  • Identification proof of the signatory.
  • Quality test reports, as applicable.
  • Evidence of mitigation measures adopted.
  • Proof of electricity and water connections.

These documents are essential for conducting a thorough assessment of the impact of the proposed project on the environment and formulating appropriate mitigation strategies.

Additional Information

Requirement as per the 2006 Amendment

  • Category A projectsThese category projects mandatorily require environmental clearance; therefore, these projects do not need to undergo screening.
  • Category B projectsmust undergo a screening process and are classified into two types.
    • Category B1 projects (Mandatorily requires EIA).
    • Category B2 projects (Do not require EIA).

In other words, Category A projects and Category B projects must undergo the complete EIA process, whereas B2 projects are excluded from EIA.

How can Enterclimate assist you?

End-to-End assistance   

Owing to our extensive experience of over ten years in the field of Environmental Clearance, our team of professionals is equipped to provide comprehensive assistance for your Environmental Impact Assessment. 

Expert Legal Guidance   

Enterclimate provides full support services for Environmental Impact Assessment, including legal advice, through a customizable package that can be tailored to the priorities and needs of our clients. 

Best in Class client Support   

Our dedicated support team ensures that our clients are kept up to date with the latest guidelines and updates from relevant government departments regarding Environmental Impact Assessment and other relevant information. 


The public can be involved in the EIA for the authorisation of the proposed project throughout the EIA procedure up until the authority issues the final approval.

The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) mandate the environmental impact assessment.

It is a government-policy that any industrial project in India must secure EIA clearance from the Environment Ministry before approval for the project itself.

The Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change is responsible for supervisiong the EIA in the country.

Environmental clearance or EC is granted by the Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) in the Ministry of Environment and Forestsof India.

The competent authority for notifying the EIA notification in India is the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.

The EIA Processinvolves many steps, such as Screening, Preliminary Assessment, Scoping, public hearing, appraisal, etc, and is carried out by the project proponent itself.

The first country to have implemented EIA is the United States. It was the country to first give importance to EIA through its NationalEnvironmental Protection Act (NEPA) of 1969.

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