The outcome of an EIA is presented through the submission of a formal document, the EIA Report. An EIA Report is an independent study involving the collection and analysis of relevant information, some of which may require original research, to determine baseline conditions and to predict the likely impacts of the development. The result of the EIA study will aid decision makers in identifying potential environmental effects and formulating an opinion.
Once the EIA report is ready, the developer delivers a copy to ERA and the Local Council/s. The developer is also responsible to publish adverts in local newspapers to inform the public that an EIA Report is available for public consultation. ERA makes the EIA Report available on the Authority’s website and informs entities of government, NGOs and the Local Council/s of the said report. The consultation period for the review of the EIA Report is 30 days. During this consultation period, a public hearing is organised by the developer for Category I project. A public meeting may also be held for Category II projects, if the authority considers necessary.
Once ERA reviews the EIA Report, ERA’s comments and all written comments received from the relevant stakeholders are sent to the EIA Coordinator for a response. At this stage, any necessary changes are made to the EIA report, either through the re-submission of a revised EIA report or an Addendum.
At the end of the process, ERA prepares a report based on the EIA findings together with a recommendation. This report feeds into the overall decision-making process whereby a decision is taken with regard to a proposed development permit application. Should the development be approved, this would be subject to specific conditions and post-permit monitoring.
Since the results of the EIA may affect the project’s design, there should be a close working relationship between the project’s architects/designers, the EIA Coordinator and the Environmental Assessment Unit.