What is an Environmental Impact Assessment?

Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, is the process of evaluating the likely positive or negative consequences of a proposed project on the environment (human, physical and natural). The results of the assessment are reported in a document known as the Environmental Statement (ES) and are intended to provide decision-makers with a balanced assessment of the environmental implications of a proposed project, in the short, medium and long term. The ES does not confirm if a project should be approved or refused; instead, it is used by decision-makers as a contribution to the information base upon which a decision is made.