Environmental Clearance

How to Carry Out EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance?

calendar13 Mar, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
How to Carry Out EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance?

Environmental Impact Assessment is a tool used to identify a project’s environmental, social and economic impacts before decision-making. It aims to predict the environmental effects early in project planning and design, find ways to reduce the harmful consequences, shape the projects to suit the environment, and present the predictions and options to decision-makers. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)[1] notified EIA legislation in September 2006. Continue reading this blog to get all the information for carrying out EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance.

The following is the categorization for development projects that may require EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance.

  • Category ‘A’ projects require mandated environmental clearance; thus, they do not undergo the screening process and need an EIA report.
  • Category ‘B’ projects undergo the screening process to check whether the project requires an EIA report or not and are differentiated into two categories,
  • Category B1 projects (Mandatorily requires EIA).
  • Category B2 projects (Do not require EIA).

Why Industries Require Environmental Impact Assessment?

  • EIA is an essential tool that helps to check the project’s fate in a very early stage, which will help the project proponent to mitigate and reduce the risk associated with the project.
  • To carry out the assessment of any project that may lead to environmental and socio-economic impacts, one should go through the process of EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance to acquire an Environmental Clearance Certificate for any of the 39 projects.
  • EIA is required for schedule 1 projects as per EIA notification, 2006.

Clearance and NOCs Needed For Prior Environment Clearance

  1. Forest Clearance as per Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 
  2. Wildlife Clearance (NBWL) as per Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 
  3. CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) Clearance as per issued notification 2011 
  4. Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) NOC 
  5. Fire NOC 
  6. Forest Certificate showing the distance from the project boundary 
  7. Airport NOC from AAI for height clearance surrounding the airport 
  8. Clearance from NHAI 

How to Carry Out EIA

EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance is mandated for Category ‘A’ and ‘B1’ projects as per EIA notification, 2006.

Stages in the EIA Process

  • Scoping And Consideration Of Alternatives – To identify the project’s environmental impacts and define the EIA study’s scope.
  • Term of Reference – after the identification of the scope of the project, the project proponent/consultant applies to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) or at the state level. The ToR consists of methodology, the scope of the project and the timeline for carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Study – EIA study collects all the baseline details of the project impacts of the project and develops mitigation measures as a part of EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance.
  • Public Consultation – Once the draft EIA has been prepared by the certified consultant, it is presented in from of the Public affected by the project for views and opinions to reduce the risk associated with the project.
  • Final EIA – Inputs received from the Public and committee during the public hearing; the final EIA is prepared and submitted to the central or state level for review.
  • Clearance – If the Environmental Impact Assessment is satisfactory, the concerned authority may grant the EC or may reject.

Submission Process of Final EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance

  • Site identification and a preliminary site visit by the project proponent and consultant, preparation of a checklist
  • Registration on the Parivesh portal
  • Drafting and submission of forms (Form 1, Form 1A, Form 2, PFR, Conceptual plan) for the EC/ToR after registration
  • Drafting of presentation for EC/ToR
  • Agenda/Meeting for EC/TOR 
  • Grant of ToR/EC and subsequently baseline data generation by Appraisal Committee (SEIAA/EAC) 
  • Preparation and Submission of Draft EIA for conduction of Public hearing to SPCB 
  • Drafting of Presentation and Conduct of Public hearing 
  • Final Environmental Impact Assessment Submission to Appraisal Committee for the grant of EC after incorporation of minutes of PH in the EIA report and submission on the Parivesh portal 
  • Drafting of final EC presentation 
  • Agenda/Meeting for FINAL EC 
  • Grant of EC by the appraisal committee 

Generic Structure of Environmental Impact Assessment Report

Chapter No. EIA Structure Contents
1. Introduction Purpose of the projectIdentification of project Brief description of nature, size, location and its importanceScope of the study – details of regulatory scoping carried out (As per TOR)
2. Project Description Details of risks likely to cause environmental effects and complete detail of the project and the machinery/technology involved.
3. Description of the Environment Study area, period, components and methodologyEstablishment of baseline for valued environmental components, as identified in the scope.Base maps of all environmental components
4. Anticipated Environmental Impacts and mitigation measures Investigated details of Environmental impacts due to project location, possible accidents, project designs, project construction, regular operations, final decommissioning or rehabilitation of a completed projectMeasures for minimizing adverse impactsAssessment of the significance of impactsMitigation measures
5. Analysis  of  Alternatives (Technology & Site)   Description of each alternativeSummary of adverse impacts of each alternativeMitigation measures proposed for each alternative and Selection of alternative  
6. Environmental Monitoring Program   Technical aspects of monitoring the effectiveness of mitigation measures (including measurement methodologies, frequency, location, data analysis, reporting schedules, emergency procedures, detailed budget and procurement schedules)  
7. Additional Studies Public ConsultationRisk AssessmentSocial Impact Assessment R&R Action plan  
8. Project benefits Improvement in physical infrastructureImprovement in social infrastructureEmployment potential – skilled, semi-skilled and unskilledOther tangible benefits
9. Environmental Cost benefits If recommended at the Scoping stage
10. EMP Description of the administrative aspects of ensuring that mitigative measures are implemented and their  effectiveness monitored after approval of the EIA
11. Summary & Conclusion (Summary of EIA report) Overall justification for the implementation of the projectExplanation of how adverse effects have been mitigated
12. Disclosure of Consultants engaged The names of the consultants engaged with their brief resumes and the nature of the Consultancy rendered

Conclusion

Carrying out the EIA for Prior Environmental Clearance for any of the 39 projects listed is very important for the sound management of the project by identifying the risk associated with the projects and reducing and minimizing the impacts on the environment and the human population. Documents required for carrying out EIA may vary concerning projects. And for carrying out the Environmental Impact Assessment, one can take help from the certified NABET Consultant to prepare a quality EIA report and grant Environmental Clearance.

Also Read:
Types Of Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Clearance Process In India: A Complete Outlook

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