Consultation is an important element of the Environmental Impact Assessment process
In 2016 An Environmental Impact Statement Scoping Report was published and consulted on. This report sought feedback from stakeholders and the public regarding the potential environmental impact of the project and the proposed scope of work and methodologies to be applied in the development of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) for the project. The Scoping Report also identified that the Appropriate Assessment (AA) process would be undertaken concurrently with the EIA processes with both processes clearly distinguished. An appropriate assessment (AA) is an assessment of the potential adverse effects of a plan or project (in combination with other plans or projects) on Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. These sites are protected by National and European Law.
The EIAR will demonstrate how environmental and technical surveys and studies along with consultations have influenced the development of the design. It will also evaluate any potential impacts and identify appropriate prevention/alleviation measures. The NIS will follow a set of procedures to consider WSP in relation to European sites which include Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.
In short, the EIAR will present a description of the existing environment, assessment of the potential effects of the scheme, set out measures to avoid or reduce any adverse effects and identify any residual impacts. The impacts will be assessed and presented in line with the following environmental topics:
- Human Health
- Biodiversity (aquatic and terrestrial)
- Land and Soils
- Air Quality
- Noise and Vibration
- Landscape and Visual
- Cultural Heritage
- Material Assets
- Traffic and Transport
- The EIAR and NIS will accompany Irish Water’s planning application to An Bord Pleanála.