|Conducting Environmental Impact Assessment in Developing Countries (United Nations University, 1999, 375 p.)|
|9. Emerging developments in EIA|
|9.4 Environmental risk assessments|
The condition of the environment is evaluated as part of the ERA. If the condition of the environment is already stressed or degraded, further stress produced by development will be detrimental. In order to weigh the various management options available to the project proponent that will minimize the damage to the environment and maximize the benefits from the project, it is essential that ERA be integrated at the appropriate stage in the project.
In the project cycle, ERA begins at the fact finding/preparation stage when the IEE indicates a potential problem. If plausible risk scenarios (what can go wrong?) are considered likely to be unacceptable, then provisions for ERA may be prescribed and included in the TOR for EIA.
In the pre-appraisal/appraisal stage, the results of ERA suggest risk reduction and risk management measures to be incorporated into the detailed project design. Agreements may be sought on the most cost-effective strategies for achieving acceptable risk using technological and other approaches. At the negotiation stage, remaining issues concerning environmental risk are resolved and appropriate assurances of mitigation incorporated in the project. The implementation and supervision stage monitors installation and operation of risk management measures, and effectiveness of the prescribed risk-reduction strategies.
Finally, the project compilation report and the post-project audit report evaluates the accuracy of predicted environmental impacts and risks and the actual experience as to frequency and severity of both anticipated and unanticipated adverse consequences. Also, compliance with implementation of required risk-reduction measures will be monitored. These findings are used to improve future EIAs and ERAs by being assembled into a database for project staff and consultants.