Minister O’Sullivan Publishes Draft Guidelines on carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment
Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., today (31 July, 2012) published draft guidelines for planning authorities on carrying out environmental impact assessment. The publication marks the start of a 7 week public consultation phase during which all stakeholders and members of the public are invited to submit their views on the draft. Following consideration of the submissions received final guidelines will be issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2010.
Speaking at the publication of draft guidelines Minister O’Sullivan said “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a key instrument of European Union and Irish environmental policy. Since the first iteration of the Directive in 1985 there have been changes to the legislation itself and to the practice of carrying out EIA. The policy and operational context for all stakeholders – consent authorities, project sponsors / developers, and third parties has become significantly more complex in that time as a result. The purpose of these guidelines is therefore to provide practical guidance to planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála on procedural and technical issues arising from the requirement to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in relevant cases. It is envisaged that the guidelines will result in greater consistency in the methodology adopted by consent authorities. The guidance should also assist developers, EIA practitioners, NGO’s and other participants in the planning process”.
The public consultation period runs until Friday 14 September. The draft guidelines are available here.