Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The objective of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to avoid environmental damage beforehand and to regard environmental impacts from an integrative and comprehensive point of view.
Environmental concerns are to be taken into account as seriously as other issues and approval procedures for projects are to be more transparent.
For companies, specially prepared information is provided online, at the Unternehmensserviceportal (USP).
The objectives of the EIA include:
- to take precautionary measures and decisions to prevent environmental damage beforehand;
- to regard environmental impacts from an integrative and comprehensive point of view, not just section-wise;
- to improve project-planning and approval procedures;
- to integrate environmental concerns into the evaluation and decision-making procedure, paying to them the same attention as to any other concerns;
- to make the project approval procedure more transparent and explicit by involving the public.
The Environmental Impact Assessment serves project applicants as a planning instrument and as a basis for decision-making.
In the European Union, the EIA was introduced by the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. In Austria, the EIA is governed by the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (UVP-G 2000) and various laws relating to the soil reform.
Scope of application of the EIA: Annex 1 to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act 2000 includes a list of 88 types of projects for which an EIA is mandatory if certain provisions apply. These are projects that are expected to have a substantially adverse impact on the environment.