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What Is An Environmental Assessment?

How to Prepare an Environmental Assessment


What is an environmental assessment?

An environmental assessment is a study required to establish all the impacts either positive or negative about one particular project. It will consist of technical evaluation, economic impact and social results that the project will bring. The environmental assessment will have to:

  • Identify possible environmental effects.
  • Propose measurements to mitigate adverse effects.
  • Predict whether there will be significant adverse environmental effects, even after the mitigation is implemented.
Environmental assessments are not …

Environmental site assessments that are used to identify the nature and extent of contaminants on a specific site.

Environmental audits that are used to evaluate the environmental management and regulatory compliance of a specific operation.

Environmental Assessment: How to elaborate an Environmental Assessment?

An Environmental assessment study is a complex one and will depend on several factors and variables to get the most comprehensive document.

  1. Do I Need to Prepare an Environmental Assessment?
  2. A local government or federal agency will determine if the assessment is necessary.

  3. Who's Involved with an Environmental Assessment?
  4. It will be the responsible authority who will notify other agencies their participation. They will also bring their expert information and data.

  5. Plan It
  6. The agency or party responsible for the study will establish a scope of the project, the factors that must be considered and the expected time frame to deliver the study.

  7. Environmental Assessment: Analysis and Report
  8. The environmental technician will gather data, conduct interviews and research for the impact zones. Then he will be able to identify the potential environmental effects and measures to mitigate those effects.

  9. Review the Environmental Assessment
  10. The responsible agency or agencies will then review the findings of the report for adequacy and accuracy. They will verify against other assessments, older reports and historical data to verify the veracity of the report.

  11. Make the Decision
  12. After all review processes have been completed, the agencies or manager will decide whether the environmental effects are significant or are minimal. Based on this information the project will continue its course, it will require modification, or it will end here.

  13. Mitigation and Follow-Up
  14. If the project has the go-ahead, then the mitigation measures should start immediately. The mitigation, which was also part of the original assessment, must be incorporated to drawings, plans and implements with the project. As part of the environmental assessment, sometimes is required having a follow-up plan, that will assure that all required process are being implemented and that there are no other impacts than the ones already studied.

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