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Research Article Open Access
Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) apply criteria to minimize the negative effects of projects on the environment. However, the EIA process has been criticized by European environmental organizations and governments.One common criticism deals with the fact that the responsibility for creating the environmental impact statement (EIS) normally belongs to the project’s promoter; another is the lack of rigor in the criteria for accepting or rejecting these studies. In 1994, the European Commission developed a procedure to evaluate the quality of such studies. In the present research, our objectives were to assess the quality of a sample of EIS documents created from 1990 to 2002 by the Spanish Autonomous Administration of Valencia and to assess the efficiency of the European Review Checklist method. We statistically evaluated 40 EISs, then undertook a qualitative appraisal of the documents. Next, we applied the European Review Checklist to the sample documents to appraise their quality. Based on the results of this analysis, we proposed and applied a new evaluation methodology. We assessed the overall quality by consecutive application of the three methodologies. We report important advantages of using the improved appraisal methodology and discuss the results. We found that combining qualitative analysis with a checklist that supports a more rigorous appraisal methodology improved the reliability of assessments of EIS quality, and that the technical level of the EISs should be improved, along with the accuracy and objectivity of the review tools. Based on these results, we recommend that formal measures be implemented to control and monitor the quality of EISs.
Environmental impact assessment, Environmental impact statement, Quality control, Review checklists, Soil Contamination, Building Material, Soil Moisture, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Impact, Environmental Issues, Water Resource, Material Engineering, Pollution Control, Water Quality, Transport Engineering, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Environmental sustainability, Computation Fluid Dynamics, Geotechnical Engineering, Evapotranspiration, Foundation