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Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)

The Issues
All agricultural activities have an impact on the general environment.
The reverse is also true - developments in the wider environment impact on agriculture.
Significant developments require the inclusion of an environment impact assessment (EIA) as part of the documentation submitted for planning approval.

EU Directives
In accordance with EU Directives, the EIA shall identify, describe and assess the direct and indirect effects of a project on the following factors:
Human beings, flora and fauna (the biological factors)
Soil, water, air, climate and landscape (the geophysical factors)
Material assets and cultural heritage (the social factors), and
The interaction between the factors mentioned above.

The information should include at least the following:
A description of the project
A description of measures needed to remedy, avoid or mitigate any adverse effects
The data required to identify and assess the main effects which the project is likely to have on the environment
An outline of alternatives to the project
A non-technical summary of the above information

Developments that require an environment impact assessment
Examples of significant agricultural developments that require an environment impact assessment include:
Intensive pig or poultry enterprises
Forestry plantations in excess of 50 hectares
Other developments that, in the opinion of the Local Authority, is significant enough to require an environment impact assessment.

Examples of significant non-agricultural developments that have an impact on local agricultural activities and that require an environment impact assessment include:
Construction of new roads or railways
Establishment of new quarries or mining works
Establishment of a new factory or processing plant
Any activity that involves significant disturbance of land or soil
Large drainage works

Case Study 7: Environment Impact Assessment
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