Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) refers to a tool that assists in limiting the potential environmental damage of various developments that are undertaken in an area (Handley & Handley, 2001). Other researchers and scholars consider EIA as a key aspect of many large-scale planning applications; whereby, the EIA is used as the technique that help developers understand the potential environmental impacts of any major development proposal (Wathern, 1988). EIA entails information gathering practice that is carried out by both the developer and other relevant bodies to enable the Local Planning Authority appreciate the potential environmental effects of any form of development before giving directions on its commencement or stoppage (Dougherty & Hall, 1995; Wathern, 1988). Therefore, EIA can simply be described as the scientific and public consultation process that helps identify the potential impacts of any proposed project on the environment; that is, the biophysical component of the physical environment.
The stages of conducting the EIA process include scoping, analysis of the impacts, finding mitigation measures and impact management, evaluation of the significance and effective implementation of the project (Wathern, 1988). The application of the EIA requires a collective approach especially carrying out the process in public projects.
This implies that carrying out EIA requires public participation, the project developers, and the professional body to conduct an effective process (Wathern, 1988). Therefore, this paper is based on a critical review and discussion of the applications and importance of the EIA for public projects. It is projected that EIA is particularly important in protecting ...
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...onsidering that some of the projects may fail to incorporate EIA in their implementation process, it should be noted that such developments have significant negative consequences on the public and the environment.
Therefore, the application of the EIA in such public projects is a critical aspect in project developments especially in promoting environmentally sustainable projects and public participation in the EIA process.
Also, the public members are supposed to be actively involved in the EIA process so as to ensure that a cost effective method in conducting the EIA is chosen. Overall, the applications and importance of the Environmental Impact Assessment for public projects is enormous; thus, requires a collective approach and participation of the public members and various authorities in ensuring that any project becomes environmentally sustainable.
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