Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 4 Page No.: 1040-1047 April-June 2009




S.N. Ranshur*, P.H. Sawant and R.A. Hegde

Civil (Env. Engg. Subjects), S.P. College of Engineering, Mumbai (INDIA)


Received on : March 28, 2009




In order to predict environmental impacts of any development activity and to provide an opportunity to minimize the negative impacts and enhance positive impacts, the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure was developed in the 1970s.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the systematic identification and evaluation of the potential impacts (effects) of any proposed project, plans, programmes or legislative actions related to the physical- chemical, biological, cultural and socioeconomic component of the total environment.
The EIA process makes sure that environmental issues are raised when a project or plan is first discussed and that all concerns are addressed as a project gains momentum through to implementation. Recommendations made by the EIA may necessitate the redesign of some project components, require further studies and suggest changes which alter the economic viability of the project or cause a delay in project implementation.
By attempting to identify in advance the potential impacts of any project, the developers are able to provide appropriate mitigating measures to reduce the impact on the environment. The regulatory agencies are also able to review the proposed projects from a comprehensive environmental perspective. EIA is at the heart of environmental protection act intended to ensure national economic development without deviating from the achievement of national environmental goal while undertaking developmental projects. EIA helps to strikes the delicate balance between development and environment by ensuring that development is not carried out at the cost of environment.
The paper will highlight the issues arising out of the EIA and its effectiveness for serving the purpose of EIA as whole. The preparation of high quality EIA report or Environmental Impact Assessment statement is one component of an effective translation of EIA policy into practice. However, just having EIA policy is not only pre-requisite for producing good quality EIA reports. The literature on EIA suggests that many authors have been pondering upon the key issues related to achieving better quality of EIA reports.


Keywords : Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Potential impacts, EIA process, Physical- chemical, Biological, Cultural and socioeconomic component, Regulatory agencies, EIA policy.