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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Chapter-1

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) can be defined as a systematic identification and evaluation of the potential impacts (effects) of proposed projects, plans, programs, or legislative actions relative to the physical-chemical, biological, cultural and socioeconomic components of the total environment.

The primary purpose of the EIA process, also called the ‘NEPA process’ (National Environmental Policy Act) is to encourage the consideration of the environment in planning and decision making and to ultimately arrive at actions which are more environmentally compatible.

NEPA of 1969 effective from January 1, 1970 in USA and is referred to as the ‘Magna Carta for the environment’ in (CEQ, 1993a)

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) guidelines and regulation and other number of federal agency procedures and regulations, is to ensure the balanced decision making regarding the environment occurs in the total public interest.

Project planning and decision making should include the integrated consideration of technical, economic, environmental, social and other factors. Most of these considerations can be referred to as “the three E’s” (engineering or technical, economics, and environment)

The requirement of NEPA is understood significantly under three terms namely,

1. Environmental inventory 2. Environmental Impact Assessment 3. Environmental Impact Statement
“Environmental inventory” is also known as ecological factors or Baseline data. It is a complete description of the environment as it exists in an area where a particular proposed action is being considered. It compiles from the checklist of description for the physical-chemical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic environments.

1. Physical-chemical environment include such as major areas as soils, geology,...

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