Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

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This glossary is far from complete. We are constantly adding terms.

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  1. The process of analyzing what the effect (both short and long term) of a project will be on the environment - both natural and social
  2. The report produced as the result of #1 (also known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS))


Many projects, for example roads, dams, or chemical plants, can have serious effects on the environment. In order to prevent this, or at least reduce the effects, many countries have laws which require these effects to be measured before certain projects can be developed.


Requirements for environmental impact assessments differ from country to country, but the following are what are generally included in most EIAs.

  • determine the issues and parties involved (this is called scoping)
  • studying alternatives to the project, including not doing it
  • measuring the current environment at the project site. Included are plant and animal surveys, air and water quality, and location of other buildings, residences, etc.
  • modeling of effects generated from the project
  • determine mitigation measures necessary to reduce impact
  • determine what monitoring program (if any) is necessary
  • public review of findings